Home » Botswana billionaire Ramachandran Ottapathu’s Choppies makes move to acquire Kamoso Africa

Botswana billionaire Ramachandran Ottapathu’s Choppies makes move to acquire Kamoso Africa

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Ramachandran Ottapathu

Choppies Enterprises, a Gaborone-based supermarket chain led by Botswana businessman Ramachandran Ottapathu, has announced plans to take over control of Kamoso Africa, a leading manufacturing, sales, and retail group.

The Gaborone-based supermarket chain, founded by the prominent businessman Ramachandran Ottapathu, announced that it is conducting a thorough evaluation of its plans to acquire a 76-percent stake in Kamoso Africa through one of its subsidiaries, Choppies Distribution Centre (CDC).

In order to gain full ownership and control of the company, the CDC plans to acquire the remaining shares of Kamoso Africa that are not currently in the possession of the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) .

Presently, the ownership of Kamoso Africa is divided among a group of private equity firms, including Rand Merchant Bank, Ninety One (formerly Investec), the BDC, and Ramachandran and Narayanan Ottapathu.

The proposed transaction aligns with the group’s strategic objective to gain access to Kamoso Africa’s prominent divisions, including Liquorama, Builders Mart, Mediland, Lemepe, Mont Catering, and Refrigeration, among others.

Choppies Enterprises is Botswana’s largest retail chain, with a centralized distribution network in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Kenya. It distributes both well-known international food brands and its own private-label items.

The group operates as a leading player in the food and general merchandise retail segments under Ottapathu, a leading Botswana businessman who co-founded the retail behemoth with Farouk Ismail in 1986.

Its profits rose by 141.7 percent from BWP60 million ($4.53 million) in 2021 to BWP145 million ($11 million) in 2022, thanks to higher sales driven by a broad presence across Botswana and a growing footprint in three other African countries.

The group’s total retail sales rose by more than 13 percent, from BWP5.33 billion ($402.76 million) to BWP6.04 billion ($456.4 million), boosted by strong growth in Zambia and Zimbabwe, which performed exceptionally well despite the weakness of the Zimbabwean dollar.

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