Shoprite Holdings has announced the appointment of Absa Group Chair, Wendy Lucas-Bull as an Independent Non-Executive Director and Chairman designate of the company, with effect from 1 October 2020.
This disclosure is in accordance with section 3.59(a) of the JSE Limited Listings Requirements, it was made public in a statement issued by the order of the Board of Directors of Shoprite Holding Company, which was seen by Nairametrics.
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Ms. Wendy Lucas-Bull, subject to her election as an Independent non-Executive Director at the Company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), will be appointed as Chairman, at the board meeting that follows immediately after the AGM.
Speaking on the appointment, Dr. Christo Wiese, extended his congratulations to Ms. Lucas-Bull on her appointment:
“On behalf of the Board, we welcome Wendy and wish her success in her role as an Independent Non-Executive Board member and Chairman designate. There is no doubt her expertise, experience, and leadership will be of considerable benefit to both the Board and the Shoprite Group.”
However, Wendy Lucas-Bull will take over from Dr. Christo Wiese, who has been the Chair of the group since 1991 and helped build it into one of the continent’s largest retailers, with annual revenue of about R157bn. He will remain on the board as a Non-Executive Director, after its annual general meeting on November 16.
Dr. Christo Wiese’s retirement was first announced in November 2019, after 61.2% of shareholders voted for his replacement as a Chairman in the 2019 AGM. This, however, is in line with good corporate governance, as the next group chairperson will be independent; a decision supported by Wiese, who is also the second-largest shareholder at Shoprite.
Wendy Lucas-Bull is currently Chairman of ABSA Group, ABSA Bank, and ABSA Financial Services, her previous Non-Executive Directorships include, Barclays PLC, Anglo American Platinum Limited, the Development Bank of South Africa, Alexander Forbes, Eskom, Nedbank, Telkom, Aveng (Deputy Chairman), Lafarge Industries (Chairman), the South African Markets Advisory Board, Discovery Holdings, Dimension Data PLC, and the Momentum Group.
Ms. Lucas-Bull has extensive banking and widespread sector experience, as well as expertise as a Chairman and Non-Executive Director on company boards across multiple industries in both the private and public sectors. Her professional experience includes, but is not limited to International Partner of Andersen Consulting (now Accenture); Executive Director of RMB Holdings Limited; Chief Executive of FirstRand Limited’s retail businesses (including First National Bank, WesBank, Outsurance, Firstlink, and First National’s African subsidiaries); as well as Founder and Director of Peotona Group Holdings Proprietary Limited & Peotona Development.
Major decision on Shoprite retail supermarkets Nigeria Ltd
Back story: Shoprite retail supermarkets Nigeria Ltd. is a subsidiary of the Holdings company. The Holdings company’s decision is to dispose of a majority stake in its Nigeria subsidiary.
During the year, however, the Holdings company embarked on a process to actively identify a strategic partner and consequently classified Shoprite retail supermarkets Nigeria Ltd as discontinued operations, in accordance with IFRS 5: Non-Current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations.