Wiese cuts Shoprite stake after Steinhoff hit

Christo Wiese. Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg/Images
Christo Wiese. Picture: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg/Images

Tycoon Christo Wiese sold part of his stake in Shoprite on Wednesday, raising R3.6 billion and shoring up his finances, which were dented by his exposure to scandal-hit Steinhoff.

Nearly $15 billion has been wiped off Steinhoff shares over the last six months after the owner of Mattress Firm and Conforama revealed holes in its accounts.

Wiese was particularly hard hit by the fall as the largest shareholder in Steinhoff, with a stake of about 20%.

Wiese’s company Titan sold 17 million shares, or a 2.9% stake, at R210 each in Shoprite, a R130-billion company he transformed from just six outlets in the 1970s to hundreds across Africa.

Read: Wiese lodges claims of R59bn against Steinhoff

“This transaction is part of Titan’s ongoing investment and balance sheet management,” Morgan Stanley said.

“Titan continues to believe in the long-term value of Shoprite and will remain a strategic investor in the company.”

The sale, which was via a so-called accelerated bookbuild, reduces Wiese’s stake in Shoprite to about 11%. His stake was as big as 17% in early December.

Shares in Shoprite fell as much as 9% before recouping some of the losses to trade 5.3% lower at R213 this morning.

RMB and Absa also helped arrange deal. – Reuters

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