By Kizzi Asala and Africanews
16 years after it opened its first outlet in Nigeria, Shoprite — Africa’s largest food retailer, has sold its Nigerian operations to a company owned by a group of local investors led by property firm Persianas Investment, Ketron.
The buyer intends to shift the giant from an ownership model to a franchise one.
With the acquisition of the 25 outlets in eight states — approved by Nigeria’s federal competition and consumer protection commission, Shoprite is the latest South African business to pull out from the West African nation due to supply-chain disruptions and repatriation of funds. Ketron says it has plans to keep open new Shoprite outlets and display more Nigerian-made products.
South Africa’s Shoprite has 2.843 supermarkets operating in 15 countries.
This amounts to around 35 million customers on the African continent and in the Indian Ocean islands. Other foreign companies have encountered similar operational challenges when doing business in Nigeria’s market resulting in their departure from the country’s market — such as Mr Price Group, Woolworths and Truworths International.