The Choppies retail store group listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) on Thursday after the company received BSE approval to float 1.2 billion shares on the domestic main board.
Speaking on behalf of Choppies management, the Choppies CEO, Ram Ottappath, stated that listing Choppies at BSE is about adding value to the group as well as to the market. He added that the transformation from a small company to a large organisation is a big step.
Over and above that, Ottappath said the profile of the company will automatically change for the best as there are more opportunities for the company and good reputation for the group.
“We had been bankrupt for years and we struggled to push the business to where it is right now. Operating in the best democratic country of Botswana has been a good move,” he said.
Ottapath said Choppies is expected to offer a unique opportunity for retail investors to participate in the ongoing development of the country’s economy.
He further said that the listing is particularly pleasing for Choppies as it is a tangible demonstration of the retail store’s commitment to the development of the broader African economy and underpins the potential that can be unlocked at a country level through innovative and empowering partnerships.
The retail group raised P350 million in both the IPO and the private placement. It has 49 stores in Botswana and plans to open seven more by June this year. The retail group is the largest supermarket chain in the country, raking in over P103 million after taxes in 2011.
“We Choppies Group consider it a great privilege to have been part of the team that brought this highly accessible and feature-rich investment product to the Botswana investment community,” he said. “We are confident that the Choppies Group will quickly become a bigger investment and thanks to the benefits it offers to both investors and the economy of Botswana.”
He stated that they want to spread their retail wings to the rest of Southern Africa and added that, in few years time, the company wants to list on Africa’s leading exchange, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Choppies is the market leading mass grocery retailer in the country and retails fast moving goods, household goods, fruit and vegetables, meat products through its chain of stores located in both South Africa and Botswana. The company currently employs an excess of 3 900 people in Botswana and 600 others in neighbouring South Africa.
After the final allocation, 25.5 percent of Choppies is now in the hands of public.