Home » Shoprite shares slump costs South African billionaire Christo Wiese $159.7 million in net worth

Shoprite shares slump costs South African billionaire Christo Wiese $159.7 million in net worth

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Christo Wiese

South African billionaire retail tycoon Christo Wiese has experienced a notable setback in his net worth due to the declining market value of his stake in Shoprite Holdings, Africa’s largest retailer. 

Over the past 118 days, Wiese’s stake in the leading retail group has suffered a significant decline of R3.06 billion ($159.7 million), according to data tracked by Billionaires.Africa.

The decline in the market value of his stake can be attributed to the drop in Shoprite shares on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Investors have been trimming down their holdings in the group, causing the shares to decline by 19.6 percent over the past 118 days.

The recent $159.7-million slump in Wiese’s stake value has reduced his ownership in Shoprite Holdings from R15.65 billion ($814.71 million) on Jan. 25 to R12.58 billion ($654.97 million) at present.

While the decline in share value presents a challenge for Wiese, Shoprite Holdings has received a boost, with JPMorgan Chase & Co., the largest U.S. bank by assets, acquiring an additional stake in the company.

The news comes as Shoprite expands its operations by entering new markets, including launching its first apparel store in South Africa called Uniq.

The Cape Town’s Canal Walk Shopping Center store is expected to be followed by ten more outlets across the country.

The strategic expansion into the apparel market puts Shoprite in direct competition with Pick n Pay, which presently dominates South Africa’s apparel market. To lead this foray, Shoprite has hired Michael Cole, the former head of Pick n Pay’s clothing business.

The expansion efforts have paid off for Shoprite Holdings, as the group’s profit for the first half of the 2023 fiscal year surged by 19.9 percent to R3.26 billion ($177.7 million), compared to R2.72 billion ($148.3 million) in the same period last year.

The increase in profit can be attributed to a surge in customer traffic, volume growth, and higher average basket spend, resulting in a more than 16-percent rise in total merchandise sales.

Despite the decline in Wiese’s net worth, Shoprite Holdings’ strategic expansion and positive financial performance signal a promising future for the leading retail group.

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