Pick n Pay ups stake in Zimbabwe’s Thomas Meikles

2011-12-02 10:42

Harare – Pick n Pay Retailers will invest $13 million (R105 million) in Zimbabwe’s Thomas Meikles, raising its stake in the supermarket chain from 25% to 49%, Thomas Meikles announced today.

“This investment by Pick n Pay has received approvals from the Reserve Banks of Zimbabwe and South Africa,” as well as other relevant authorities, Thomas Meikles said in a statement to shareholders.

Thomas Meikles said the investment was in line with new regulations imposed by President Robert Mugabe, limiting foreigners’ stakes in Zimbabwean firms to 49%.

“Thomas Meikles will use this $13 million investment to update and refurbish existing stores, and the public will notice changes in Thomas Meikles’s supermarkets in the coming months,” it said.

“In time, there will be the establishment of a number of franchise operations which will create employment opportunities.”

The company said the Thomas Meikles brand will be retained, “though certain strategic stores will be rebranded Pick n Pay”.

Thomas Meikles Supermarkets is part of the business empire established in 1910 by founder Thomas Meikles.
The company has interests in hotels, property, ranching and investment.

The investment marks a vote of confidence in Zimbabwe by a key South African firm, as other companies in the continent’s economic powerhouse have searched for opportunities across the border.

Zimbabwe’s economy has stabilised over the past two years after Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai formed a coalition government, discarding the local dollar left worthless by inflation, which ran into multiples of billions.

The country is now using the US dollar and regional currencies such as the South African rand.

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