Botswana Grocer Choppies Plans Secondary Listing in Johannesburg

Choppies, the Botswana-based supermarket chain, said it will sell shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as part of its expansion in South Africa and the rest of the continent.

The retailer, which serves lower and middle-income customers, has appointed Johannesburg-based Rand Merchant Bank as the bookrunner for the offering, which includes an issue of new shares and a sale by existing investors. The proceeds will go toward paying debt and the opening of new outlets, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We are well positioned to expand our footprint to 200 stores in six countries by the end of calendar year 2016,” Chief Executive Officer Ramachandran Ottapathu said in an e-mailed statement. The listing “ will also enhance our public profile in South Africa, where we continue to expand,” he said.

Choppies shares are already traded in Gaborone, the Botswana capital, and rose 0.3 percent to 4.06 pula by 12:22 p.m., valuing the company at 4.8 billion pula ($488 million). London-based Standard Chartered Plc bought about 13 percent of the retailer for an undisclosed sum in December 2013, and said last year a JSE listing was in the works.

Choppies has 125 stores, including 35 in South Africa. It plans to enter Tanzania and Zambia by the middle of this year and increase the number of shops in Zimbabwe to 50 from 18 now.

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