LOCAL Nigerian company Ketron Investment backed by a group of institutional investors has purchased the assets and liabilities of South African retail chain Shoprite officially known as Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (RSNL).
In August last year, Shoprite Holdings announced plans to auction off its network on Nigerian outlets and pull out of the country in response to a dramatic clump in sales as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the lockdown, travel restrictions and reduced industrial output, retail sales were hit hard, which depressed the profits of outfits like Shoprite.
With sales at an all time low, Shoprite said it was considering an outright sale of its operations or selling a majority stake in its Nigerian subsidiary. Ketron Investment has now stepped into the void, expressing delight that it was able to complete the acquisition and ensure the continued operations of one of the biggest retail success stories in Nigeria.
Ketron’s chairman Tayo Amusan, said: “We look forward to building an even stronger company following our acquisition and are excited about the greater impact we will achieve to the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders now and well into the future.”
He described the divestment by Shoprite as in line with its strategy to change from an ownership model to a franchise model. Already, the development has received the blessings of the Nigerian regulator, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.
According to the terms of this acquisition, Ketron acquires 100% ownership of Shoprite in Nigeria and will continue operations across all existing outlets. It also plans to open additional stores and introduce more Nigerian-made products in the stores.
Mr Amusan expressed confidence that with the company’s knowledge of the ever-evolving Nigerian retail marketplace, well-grounded social and economic research, and hands-on experience from its team, the acquisition would foster a robust and sustainable business model for the ultimate benefit of all stakeholders. He said that Shoprite International will continue as technical advisers and Ketron will sustain the relationships established by the company over the last decade-and-a-half while ensuring a smooth transfer of values.
Since its launch in Lagos in December 2005, Shoprite has expanded to 25 outlets across 11 states and Abuja.