Home » Botswana tycoon Ottapathu faces $6.7-million loss from Choppies investment

Botswana tycoon Ottapathu faces $6.7-million loss from Choppies investment

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Ramachandran Ottapathu

Ramachandran Ottapathu, the multimillionaire Botswana businessman at the helm of Choppies Enterprises, has seen the market value of his stake in the Gaborone-based retailer slump by more than $7 million since the start of the year due to a significant share decline on the Botswana Stock Exchange.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that Ottapathu’s stake in Choppies Enterprises has decreased by BWP 91.74 million ($6.75 million) since Jan. 1 as investors on the local bourse continue to reduce their stakes in the leading Gaborone-based supermarket chain, leading to a significant decline in the company’s shares.

Choppies Enterprises is Botswana’s largest retail chain, boasting an extensive distribution network spanning South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Kenya. The supermarket distributes both renowned international food brands and private-label items. 

Under the leadership of Ottapathu, a prominent Botswana businessman who co-founded the retail giant with Farouk Ismail in 1986, Choppies operates as a key player in the food and general merchandise retail sectors.

The Botswana businessman, who co-founded the country’s leading supermarket chain with his long-term business partner, Ismail, owns a controlling 24.48-percent stake in Choppies, totaling 316,353,058 ordinary shares.

Since the start of the year, Choppies shares on the Botswana Stock Exchange have slumped by 31.52 percent, declining from BWP0.92 ($0.0677) on Jan. 1 to BWP0.63 ($0.0464) at the time of writing, thus leading to losses amounting to millions of dollars for its shareholders, including Ottapathu, who ranks as one of Botswana’s richest businessmen.

As a result of the double-digit percent slump in the group’s share price, the market value of Ottapathu’s stake has slumped by BWP 91.74 million ($6.75 million) since the start of the year, from BWP 291.04 million ($21.41 million) on Jan. 1 to BWP 199.30 million ($14.66 million) at the time of writing.

Despite the $7-million decline in his stake, which pushed the value of his holding below the $15-million mark, Ottapathu remains not only one of the richest investors on the Botswana Stock Exchange but also one of the country’s wealthiest businessmen.

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