Pick n Pay ups shareholding in TM Supermarkets

Johannesburg, Dec 9 (I-Net Bridge) – In a deal that will pump US$13 million into the Zimbabwean economy, SA’s second-largest grocer Pick n Pay (PIK) on Friday said the final government hurdle had been cleared for it to up its holdings in TM Supermarkets from 25% to 49%.

The TM Chain is controlled by Meikles Limited and is the largest chain of retail stores in Zimbabwe by number of stores, with 51 outlets.

“Yesterday the shareholders of TM Supermarkets voted unanimously to allow Pick n Pay to purchase the additional 24% of shares,” Pick n Pay said.

In November, the Competition and Tariff Commission of Zimbabwe declared that it had examined the competitive effects of the merger on the Zimbabwean market and established that the transaction did not reduce competition or create a monopoly situation, but rather strengthened the ailing TM Supermarkets.

The commission then agreed to Pick n Pay taking its shareholding of TM Supermarkets to 49% subject to certain conditions pertaining to labour and local procurement of goods.

“The acquisition of the additional shareholding in TM Stores has been a protracted one that has stretched over more than three years, and required the approval of the Zimbabwean Investment Authority, the Zimbabwean Reserve Bank, the Zimbabwean National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board, and now finally the approval of the Competition and Tariff Commission of Zimbabwe,” Nick Badminton, Chief Executive Officer of Pick n Pay said.

Dallas Langman, head of group enterprises (Africa) at Pick n Pay said it was important to note that not a cent of the money coming into the TM Stores business would go towards shareholder dividends.

“All the money is earmarked for developing and strengthening TM stores in Zimbabwe. Some seven stores will be rebranded with the Pick n Pay brand, but we wish to express our confidence in the TM brand and respect its history in Zimbabwe,” he stressed.

“The investment will see money being spent on local procurement processes and will give employment to Zimbabweans during the refurbishment of stores and the staffing of them,” Langman added.

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