Shoprite finalises sale of Nigerian operations, Kenyan retailer Tuskys seeks to lease brand

NIGERIA – Africa’s largest retailer, Shoprite Holdings, has officially transferred ownership of its Nigerian subsidiary to Ketron Investment Limited, a company owned by a group of institutional investors led by property firm owner, Persianas Investment Limited.

This change in ownership has also received the approval of the Nigerian regulator, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, reports The Punch.

According to Ketron Investment, the divestment by Shoprite was in line with its strategy to change from an ownership model to a franchise model, to enable the brand to remain in Nigeria as well as a provide technical support to the new owner.

“We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of Shoprite, ensuring the continued operations of one of the biggest retail success stories in Nigeria.

“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,” said the Chairman, Ketron Investment Limited, Tayo Amusan.

While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, a recent report by Bloomberg stated that Shoprite’s assets in Nigeria were valued at N30bn (US$73 million).

Launched in Lagos in December 2005, the retailer owns 25 outlets across 11 states and the FCT.

Shoprite Holdings operates 2,843 supermarkets in 15 countries, serving 35 million customers in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands.

“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.”

Chairman, Ketron Investment Limited – Tayo Amusan

Tuskys banks on franchise model

Meanwhile, Kenya’s struggling supermarket chain, Tuskys, has sought approval from the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) to lease its brand through a franchise model, in a bid to keep the name alive as it generates funds.

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In the proposal, Tuskys will allow various independent retailers to trade using its brand at a fee, following delays in closing a Ksh2.1 billion (US$19m) financial deal with a mystery offshore investor.

The CAK revealed that the retailer was seeking the regulator’s guidance on how to franchise the Tuskys brand, reports Business Daily.

Tuskys is following in the footsteps of cash-strapped Uchumi Supermarkets which also entered into a franchising deal after it fell on hard times.

“The Authority received an advisory request from Tusker Mattresses Limited regarding a proposed franchising project. Specifically, Tuskys sought advice on the necessary legal steps and requirements that they should put into consideration to enable the project become a success.

“Tuskys was requested to furnish the Authority with the final draft of the franchising agreement, once prepared and before execution, for its review,” the regulator stated.

Tuskys is betting that its brand will be strong enough to attract business partners that will stock stores, pay employees and rent in the retailer’s latest bid to keep its brand afloat in the competitive sector.

A successful franchise strategy will keep the retailer’s brand alive, buying it time to raise the funds needed to rebuild its nationwide network.

Tuskys could buy out the franchisees in the future and take back full ownership of the business.

At its peak, the retailer was an acquisition target for global giants like Walmart seeking a foothold in East Africa.

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