The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Council (FCCPC) has said it is not aware that retail giant, Shoprite, is exiting Nigeria, but that there is a pending application for a merger/acquisition involving it.
This follows recent media reports that Shoprite Holdings Limited has announced that the sale of its Nigerian outlet to new investors has been concluded and is only awaiting the approval of FCCPC.
This disclosure was made by the Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC, Dr Babatunde Irukera, during a telephone conversation with Vanguard.
What the Chief Executive Officer of FCCPC is saying
Irukera said, “We do not know whether Shoprite is exiting Nigeria or not, but we have a pending application for a merger/acquisition by a buyer.
“The media can report anything, what I know is that there is a pending merger/acquisition application in my office. Merger/acquisition applications do not suggest whether a company is leaving or not. What I know is that we have an application for merger/acquisition here.”
In case you missed it
It can be recalled that some media reports a few days ago alleged that Shoprite has finally sold its 100% stake in its Nigeria subsidiary and is set to exit Nigeria by December 2021.
This was coming after an earlier report in August 2020 that Shoprite was exiting operations in Nigeria due to some harsh government policies and a re-evaluation of its operating model, although this was denied by Shoprite through its Public Relations agency in Nigeria, Chastex Consult.
However, the name(s) of the buyer(s) have not been revealed and efforts made to speak with Shoprite PR agency failed as telephone calls did not go through.
While denying the rumoured exit, Shoprite said, “Shoprite is not leaving Nigeria. Who leaves a $30 billion investment and closes shop? We are only just opening to Nigerian investors who we have also been talking to just before now. We are not leaving, who leaves over a $30 billion investment and close shop. It doesn’t sound right. We only just gave this opportunity to Nigerian investors to come in and also help drive our expansion plan in Nigeria. So we are not leaving.”