HomeChoice Gets Private-Equity Investor With JSE Listing

HomeChoice International Plc, a South African online retailer, will sell a minority stake to private-equity firm Development Partners International as it prepares to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

DPI will make the investment in the seller of homeware and personal loans through its $450-million Africa-focused ADP II fund, the London-based company said in a statement. DPI has already placed about $400 million in African assets through its first fund.

“We believe that their in-depth knowledge and extensive network in Africa will be beneficial to our African expansion,” HomeChoice Chief Executive Officer Shirley Maltz said in the statement. Neither company disclosed the size of the DPI investment.

HomeChoice will debut on the main board of Johannesburg’s stock exchange on Dec. 4, the retailer said last month. The company plans to add more African markets to operations in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia, which make up about 12 percent of its retail sales. International technology and shopping companies including Vodafone Group Plc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are expanding in Africa to take advantage of rising incomes and a boom in Internet connections through smartphones.

Other new entrants on the JSE market this year include retirement-fund administrator Alexander Forbes Group Holdings Ltd., canned-goods maker Rhodes Food Group Pty Ltd. and poultry company Quantum Foods Holdings Ltd. HomeChoice International will be based in Malta to ease restrictions on capital flows, the company said. It’s not planning to raise capital.

HomeChoice had sales of 1.66 billion rand ($151 million) last year, an increase of 16 percent. DPI’s other South African investments include RTT Group, a Johannesburg-based transport company.

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