Giant retailer OK Zimbabwe seeks to unbundle business into group of companies

ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed retail outlet, OK Zimbabwe, has hinted at restructuring of the company that would entail unbundling into a group of companies.

OK Zimbabwe trades under three highly recognised brands namely OK Stores, Bon Marche, and OK Mart.

The retailer sells products in its grocery range under its own home brand; OK Pot ‘O Gold, OK Value, Shoppers’ Choice and Bon Marché Premier Choice labels.

In a cautionary statement seen by Chronicle, the retail giant said it was engaged in discussions that involve a potential transaction that may have a material impact on the value of the company’s shares.

“The directors of OK Zimbabwe Limited wish to advise all stakeholders and the investing public that the company is engaged in discussions that involve a potential transaction that may have a material impact on the value of the company’s shares.

“The transaction involves the restructuring of the company and its unbundling into a group of companies,” reads the notice.

OK Zimbabwe, which has 68 outlets countrywide, said further details on the transaction will be provided once discussions have been finalised.

“Shareholders are, therefore, advised to exercise caution and to consult their professional advisors when trading in the company’s shares until the finalisation of the aforementioned matter.

“The company’s shareholders and members of the public will be updated on the matter in accordance with the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Listing Rules,” said the company.

In its annual report for the year ended March 31, 2022, the retail group said despite several operational challenges it plans to implement its growth strategy and focus on extending reach through store expansion and store refurbishment programme and improvement in supply chain efficiencies.

During the period, capital expenditure for the year was ZWL 3.1 billion up from ZWL 2.1 billion in prior year. The bulk of the capital expenditure was on refurbishment of stores and the opening of new ones.

OK Zimbabwe appoints new Non-Executive Director

In other related news, the retailer has appointed Mr. Charl John Goncalves and Mr. Wonder Stan Nyabereka to the Board of Directors as an Independent Non-Executive Director.

Charl is a Chartered Accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

He completed his articles with Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Cape Town, South Africa, then joined Old Mutual Limited and had a career spanning 20 years with the Group holding positions within Internal Audit and as a Senior Finance Executive.

During the last 5 years of his time at Old Mutual Limited, he was a member of the Board of a material subsidiary of the Group, Old Mutual Finance.

Charl was initially the Finance Director for two years and subsequently became the Chief Executive Officer for 3 years. He is currently the General Manager: Investment & Projects of Forbes Investment Holdings.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wonder Stan Nyabereka, who is currently the General Manager of Revival Technologies (Private) Limited has been in the financial services sector for the past thirty years, working in various positions with Barclays Bank PLC which for three years transitioned into First Capital Bank after acquiring the Zimbabwean franchise of Barclays Bank PLC.

He spent the better part of his early years in the industry working in IT in a number of countries in Africa, the UK and Caribbean before becoming the Chief Operating Officer for Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe in 2010.

More recently, he led the technology transformation of the First Capital Bank where he was the Accountable Executive for the migration and changing of all Barclays systems that were replaced by new systems put in place after the sale of the business.

Wonder has helped put structure to the national payment switch, Zimswitch Technologies, as a member and current Chairman of the Board. At Zimswitch, he has driven the collaboration agenda which culminated into a partnership between the Switch and Mastercard PLC.

He also took a leading role in the negotiations with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) for the shareholding transaction of Zimswitch Technologies concluded in July 2021.

More so, under his watch, SI80/2020 was promulgated through which Zimswitch was formally appointed the National Payments Switch.

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