*Says M&A application pending
By Princewill Ekwujuru
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) said it is not aware that retail conglomerate, Shoprite, is exiting Nigeria, but that there is a pending application for merger/acquisition involving it.
The Executive Vice President/Chief Executive Officer, FCCPC, Dr Babatunde Irukera, in a telephone conversation with Vanguard said: “We do not know whether Shoprite is exiting Nigeria or not, but we have a pending application for merger /acquisition by a buyer.
“The media can report anything, what I know is that there is a pending merger/acquisition application in my office. Merger/acquisition applications do not suggest whether a company is leaving or not. What I know is that we have an application for merger/acquisition here.”.
A media report earlier in the week had alleged that Shoprite has finally sold its 100 per cent equity in Nigeria and is set to exit Nigeria by December 2021.
Recall that it was first reported in August 2020 that Shoprite was exiting operations in Nigeria, citing a re-evaluation of its operating model, which was denied through its Public Relations agency in Nigeria, chastex Consult.
The report also said the retailer has in its latest financial reports stated that terms of sale have been concluded and is waiting for the approval of FCCPC.
However, as at the time of filing this report name(s) of the buyer(s) have not been revealed and efforts made to speak with Shoprite PR agency failed as telephone calls did not go through.
Vanguard had earlier published a story where Shoprite debunked rumour of its exit from Nigeria some months ago where it said: “Shoprite is not leaving Nigeria. Who leaves a $30billion investment and closes shop?”
“We are only just opening to Nigerian investors which we have also been talking to just before now. We are not leaving, who leaves over a $30billion invest and close shop. It doesn’t sound right. We only just gave this opportunity to Nigerian investors to come in and also help drive our expansion plan in Nigeria. So we are not leaving.”