Lewis Group has received regulatory and competition approvals for the acquisition of 20 Ellerines and Beares stores in Botswana. The Group which has been wrestling tough economic conditions announced the news on February 15th.
The acquisition comes after the Group announced in November 2015 that it intends to buy 62 Ellerines and Beares stores in Southern Africa for approximately P178million. In November 2015, Lewis recorded a 13 percent slump in first half profits, which it blamed on the struggling mining sector and the worst drought on record. Lewis Group CEO Johan Enslin said the acquisition of Ellerines and Beares stores in Botswana and another 10 in Lesotho will enable Lewis to expand and diversify its southern African footprint.
“We are not only gaining access to new segments of the furniture retail market but also expanding our existing customer base in each of these countries,” he was quoted as saying.
The 20 Ellerines and Beares stores in Botswana will commence trading under the Lewis stable from early March 2016. The Group is also awaiting competition approvals for 21 stores purchased in Namibia and six in Swaziland. Lewis Group purchased the Beares brand and 61 stores in South Africa in November 2014 after parent company Ellerines Furnishers was placed under business rescue.
“The addition of the Beares stores in southern Africa will further improve our buying power and bring immediate scale benefits. Once all these stores are fully operational they are expected to make a meaningful contribution to the group,” says Enslin.