Advertise with fastmoving.co.za
 
 

Brait's biggest shareholder is retail billionaire Christo Wiese.
Brait's biggest shareholder is retail billionaire Christo Wiese.

Shoprite investor seeks to curb Wiese power with director

RETAILER NEWS

By Janice Kew - Nov 4th, 08:49

A Shoprite Holdings Ltd. shareholder nominated a veteran retail executive to the board of Africa’s biggest grocer in an attempt to reduce the influence of Chairman Christo Wiese -- part of a wider investor pushback against the former billionaire. 

Wiese, 78, has been chairman of the Cape Town-based company for almost three decades and has more voting rights than any other shareholder. He is standing for re-election as non-executive director at the supermarket giant’s annual general meeting next week.

All Weather Capital nominated former Pepkor Ltd. head Jan le Roux, 69, as a director, a move that will be voted on at Shoprite’s annual general meeting on Monday. Wiese is the former owner of Pepkor and developed the company into a pan-African clothing retailer before agreeing to sell to Steinhoff Holdings International NV in 2014.

“We need some forces on the board that will balance Wiese’s influence,” Shane Watkins, chief investment officer at All Weather, said.

Le Roux’s nomination has not followed “usual procedure” and will be raised at the Nov. 4 meeting, Wiese said by phone. “It’s the first time in Shoprite history a nomination has been sprung this way.”

Reducing Influence

Business Day earlier reported that the proposal may not comply with rules set by Johannesburg’s stock exchange.

Steinhoff’s near-collapse eroded Wiese’s standing as one of South Africa’s richest people, and his net worth now stands at $744 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Shoprite moved to reduce Wiese’s influence earlier this year with the chairman’s support but was forced to scrap the plan after investors objected to the likely 3.3 billion-rand ($219 million) cost to the company in compensation. The grocer has also faced shareholder opposition to its levels of executive pay, holding extra meetings to discuss the policy.

The shares have slumped 29% this year, the worst performer on the FTSE/JSE Food & Drug Retailers Index.

Le Roux has also given All Weather a “firm undertaking to champion” black economic empowerment at Shoprite, Watkins said, referring to South Africa’s policy to address inequities stemming from apartheid.

The Public Investment Corp. -- a shareholder that has objected to Shoprite’s pay policy -- didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. All Weather holds 3.2 million shares, equivalent to about 0.5% of the stock.

IOL 

Related News

Checkers brings world-class retail to Constantia with new flagship store
27/11/2019 - 13:01
Checkers has opened the doors to its state-of-the-art 2 330 m² flagship supermarket at the Constantia Emporium as the retailer continues to take innovation to new heights.

Woolworths carves out market share in SA
27/11/2019 - 10:11
In Australia, David Jones's sales declined 2.1%, with the company saying a store refurbishment contributed to the decline.

Push and pull strategies work together to keep consumers coming back for more
26/11/2019 - 10:20
The retail sector is under increasing pressure as consumers have shrinking disposable income in a strained economy. Maintaining share of wallet is critical. Relying solely on a push route to market strategy from manufacturers into retailers is not enough to get consumers buying products. A pull strategy needs to coexist with the push to drive brand consumption. Integrating these strategies requires intelligent and insightful decision-making. This, in turn, requires data generated through smart technology which provides line of sight across the value chain from manufacturer to distribution, retailer to the consumer.

Exclusive leases must fall: Commission cracks whip on Shoprite, Pick n pay, Spar, Woolies
26/11/2019 - 09:57
The Competition Commission Inquiry into Grocery Retail, published on Monday, called for an end to the exclusive leases negotiated by national retail chains in all shopping malls across the country in a bid to open up access to markets for smaller players.

Today’s customers are loyal to speed and convenience, not brands
25/11/2019 - 11:15
Consumer expectations are rapidly shifting as technologies such as mobile, geolocation, social media and increasingly, Internet of Things devices and wearables, connect people to a world of easily accessible information and convenient services. With the ability to browse, compare and order with a few swipes and taps, consumers are becoming trained to value convenience and service above nearly anything else.