Choppies Group poised to list on BSE


Local supermarket group, Choppies Supermarket, an emerging food chain brand is said to be mulling over the prospect of listing with the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) before the end of the year, The Gazette has learnt.

Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ramachandran Ottapath confirmed to the Gazette Business in an interview on Monday, “Plans are way ahead to have the group list with the exchange. I am very positive about the group’s listing before the end of this year.”

The Gazette understands the decision to list with the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) was made some four years back but the recent global financial crunch forced the company to suspend the move until the economy had fully recovered from the effects of the global economic slump.

“We are still waiting for the market to be active and as soon as it stabilises we will go ahead with the listing,” Ottapath told this publication last week.

The move to list with Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) is seen by some observers as a citizen empowerment drive aimed at bringing Batswana on board.

"We want to empower Batswana and not only a few Batswana. We need to give to the public,” an official of the group told this publication.

Choppies Executive Director Sadique Kebonang said last year that listing on the stock exchange is a strenuous undertaking and promised the public that before the next general election in 2014 Choppies would be a public listed company (plc), “so that Batswana in general can buy shares as it is a proudly Botswana company.”

Meanwhile Ramachandran said in line with the group’s policy, Choppies has decided to rebrand some of the OK Foods stores in the country.

“We are going to have one hyper store in Francistown and two others in Gaborone,” said Ramachandran, adding “OK Foods have been a franchise from South Africa and now it is local.”

With close to 40 branches countrywide, Choppies Superstores is arguably one of Botswana’s biggest retail chain stores and has invested between P15million and P20 million in their expansion to South Africa where they have seven stores.

The group has also talked of a possible expansion into Zimbabwe once the economic situation stabilises in that country.

 

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