Shoprite looks to lure US investors

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Shoprite has opened its first outlet in northern Nigeria, defying wider concerns about security in the region. Photo: Leon Nicholas.

Johannesburg - Shoprite, Africa’s largest grocer, appointed Bank of New York Mellon for a depositary receipt program aimed at adding US investors, the biggest overseas buyers of the company’s shares.

The retailer is seeking to make its stock “accessible to more international investors, particularly US investors,” Cape Town-based Shoprite said in a statement today.

More than 50 percent of Shoprite’s shares are owned by foreigners, with US shareholders representing about 62 percent of that, the company said.

Each depositary receipt represents one ordinary share.

Shoprite opened its 1,000th supermarket in Africa on November 28, one of the 129 new shops it plans for the continent in fiscal 2014 which ends in June next year, according to its website.

The company reported an 11 percent increase in earnings before one-time items in fiscal 2013.

The stock extended gains after the announcement to add 1.6 percent to 169.77 rand as of 10:01 a.m. in Johannesburg paring its loss this year to 17 percent.

It compares with a 13 percent gain in the benchmark FTSE/JSE Africa All-Share Index since January. - Bloomberg News

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