South Africa's Christo Wiese Cuts Shoprite Stake After Steinhoff Hit
South African tycoon Christo Wiese sold part of his stake in grocer Shoprite on Wednesday, raising 3.6 billion rand ($264 million) and shoring up his finances, which were dented by his exposure to scandal-hit Steinhoff.
Nearly $15 billion has been wiped off Steinhoff shares over the last six months, after the owner of Mattress Firm, Poundland and Conforama revealed holes in its accounts.
Wiese, the largest shareholder in Steinhoff (with a stake of about 20%), was particularly impacted by the fall.
Wiese's Titan company sold 17 million shares, or a 2.9% stake, at 210 rand each, in Shoprite – a 130-billion-rand company that he transformed from just six outlets in the 1970s to hundreds across Africa.
"This transaction is part of Titan's ongoing investment and balance sheet management," Morgan Stanley said in a statement. "Titan continues to believe in the long-term value of Shoprite and will remain a strategic investor in the company."
The sale, which was via a so-called 'accelerated bookbuild', reduces Wiese's stake in Shoprite to about 11%. His stake was as big as 17% in early December.
Shares in Shoprite fell as much as 9% before recouping some of the losses, to trade 5.3% lower, at 212.99 rand, as of 08.44 GMT.
RMB and Absa also helped arrange the deal.