The shares of South African billionaire Christoffel Wiese in the African retail giant Shoprite Holdings have declined by $36 million (R487 million).
The loss in market value in Wiese’s stake is linked to the decline in the share price of Shoprite Holdings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, as investors expressed wary over its strategic divestment of subsidiaries outside South Africa.
Since Nigerian property group Persianas Limited announced its buyout of Shoprite’s operations in Nigeria on June 2, shares in the retailer have been on a downward spiral.
For over a year, Shoprite has reviewed strategic divestment options in countries where it has an operational footprint, including Nigeria and Kenya. In line with this move, the company restricted capital allocations to its subsidiaries outside South Africa before ceasing its Nigerian operations.
In reaction to the sale of its Nigerian operations, its shares on the Johannesburg bourse dropped from $11.85 (R162.00) per share on June 3 to $11.29 (R154.29) per share at press time 3:40 pm (WAT) today. This translates to a loss of about $0.56 (R7.71) per share, or 4.8 percent for the company’s shareholders since June 3.
Wiese has played a crucial role in the success of Shoprite in South Africa and outside the country. Last year, he stepped down as the chairman of Shoprite Holding, with former Absa Group Chair Wendy Lucas-Bull taking over the helm of the retail giant.
Weise owns 63,110,920 shares in the retailer, making him the largest individual shareholder in the company with an ownership stake of 10.67 percent.
The decline in Shoprite’s share price has led to a market-value loss of $36 million (R487 million) for the businessman in a week. Wiese’s stake in Shoprite Holdings has declined from $748 million (R10.2 billion) on June 3 to $712 million (R9.7 billion) today.