SOUTH AFRICA – JSE-listed retail group Woolworths has announced it will list its shares for trade on A2X Markets (A2X) from December 2, joining industry competitor Pick N Pay who listed on the secondary platform 1st of November.

A2X is a licensed stock exchange that provides a secondary listing venue for companies. It is regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the Prudential Authority (SARB) in terms of the Financial Markets Act.

“We are very pleased to be listing on A2X and to be able to offer investors greater access to trade our shares, and the opportunity to participate in the on-going growth and development of South Africa’s capital markets,” says Woolworths CEO Roy Bagattini.

According to the retailer, its issued share capital will be unaffected by the secondary listing and that the move will benefits investors trading in its shares through reduced fees and transaction costs with no added cost or regulation to Woolworths, effectively benefiting both parties.

“Woolworths is one of South Africa’s most iconic retail brands, backed by a culture of sustainability and which is renowned for doing good business. We are delighted to be welcoming them to our market,” A2X CEO Kevin Brady says.

Woolworths is the eighteenth South Africa Top 40 constituent to list on A2X. The listing will bring the number of instruments listed on A2X to 91 with a combined market capitalisation of about R5.2-trillion.

Announcement of the listing followed the company’s recent partnership with Standard Bank, to successfully execute the first sustainability-linked transactional deposit structure in South Africa.

The transactional deposit structure links the interest Woolworths earns on their deposits to the achievement of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) targets.

The KPIs and sustainability performance targets (SPTs) agreed between Woolworths and Standard Bank, cover both Woolworths’ Food and Fashion, Beauty and Home (FBH) businesses, with a focus on increasing local sourcing of FBH products, a continued focus on sustainability attributes in food products and the reduction in electricity usage in corporate stores

“Following the success of signing up Woolworths as our first ESG-linked funding partner in the latter part of 2021, being first to market yet again in the conclusion of another milestone deal with Woolworths as our very first sustainability-linked transactional deposit client across South Africa is an incredible honour,” said Standard Bank global transactional manager, consumer sector, Tania Troskie.

The deal marks a significant step in the sustainability journeys of both entities.

“In line with our vision to be one of the world’s most responsible retailers, we have already linked more than 80% of our drawn debt to specific sustainability attributes, and we are very pleased to have now linked the other side of our balance sheet, our deposits, to these criteria as well.

“The conclusion of another benchmark sustainability-linked financing deal is not only testament to our commitment to making a meaningful difference for the greater good of the planet and its people, but the importance of collaborating with others in this cause for good,” said Roy Bagattini, WHL group chief executive officer.

Over the past year, Standard Bank has also partnered with Woolworths to successfully initiate several ESG-linked deals, including a R1.15bn loan and a R600m working capital facility – both of which are linked to the retailer’s sustainability targets.

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