SA’s competition authority has recommended that Massmart’s sale of Cambridge Food, Rhino and Massfresh to Shoprite for R1.36 billion be approved.
This forms part of the requisite regulatory approvals, with the Competition Commission recommending to the Competition Tribunal that the deal be approved, according to a market announcement on Friday.
Shoprite is buying the Cambridge Food business and Rhino Cash and Carry business (56 grocery stores, including 43 adjacent liquor stores); the Fruitspot business and Massfresh Meat business (four facilities); and 12 Masscash Cash and Carry stores.
Massmart will use the financial proceeds from the sale to pay down debt, invest in e-commerce, and expand its general merchandise, DIY and wholesale food and liquor businesses.
"The sale marks another step in the group’s portfolio optimisation process and will, amongst other benefits, free up management time to enable increased focus on leveraging Massmart’s core merchandise and market strengths,” CEO Mitch Slape said in August last year.
In a trading update for the 19 weeks to 8 May, Massmart reported a 0.2% fall in its sales, which came to R30.4 billion for the period.
Both Game and Builders saw declining sales, but Makro saw its sales grow by 6.7% compared to the same period in the previous year.
Total sales at its Cambridge stores dropped 19% to R2.2 billion, hit by civil unrest in July 2021.