South Africa’s Steinhoff, Shoprite in merger talks

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South African furniture retailer Steinhoff is in talks with pan-African grocery chain Shoprite to combine their businesses, the pair said on Wednesday.

The deal would create a diversified no-frills retailer spanning food, furniture and clothes with African roots but a global reach.

The value of the deal was not disclosed. Shoprite will issue shares to Steinhoff that will give what is one of theworld’s biggest furniture retailers a significant stake in Shoprite.

Both Shoprite and Steinhoff count South African retailmagnate Christo Wiese as their biggest shareholder. He toldReuters in September that a full merger of the two companieswould be a “natural development”.

Shares in Shoprite were little-changed at 193.75 rand while Steinhoff stock dropped 3.5 percent to 73.32 rand as of 1109 GMT.

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