SA retailer Shoprite takes Sh571m Stanbic loan for Kenya stores

Chris Coulson, MD Garden City Development, Kevin Waweru, Shoprite branch manager Garden City Mall, and Andrew Mweemba, Shoprite Checkers Kenya GM, during the official opening of Shoprite outlet at the mall. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG Africa’s biggest retailer Shoprite Holdings, which has footprints locally, borrowed 84 million Rand (about Sh571 million at current rates) from Stanbic Bank Kenya as it continued an expansion drive that has seen the chain open two stores in Nairobi with a third expected this month in Mombasa.

The facility was disclosed in the South African firm’s latest investor update for the financial year ended June 2019.

The Stanbic loan formed part of its Sh79 billion debt it closed the financial year with, having opened 126 additional stores in the region including in Kenya, and creating 3,175 new jobs.

The company says the financial year ending June 2020 will see the completion of a number of strategic projects that have been on its radar for many years

“We are critically assessing capital spend in the pursuit of growth that is cash generative, return accretive and strategically beneficial,” the firm said in the update.

The retailer had not responded to queries regarding the loan’s borrowing rate and the repayment period by the time the story went to press.

The supermarket is set to open two new stores in Kenya, general manager for Shoprite Kenya Andrew Mweemba told the Business Daily in response to queries, but declined to disclose the cost.

“There are two new stores coming — one opening in Nyali mall next week and another in Waterfront Karen next month,” said Mr Mweemba.

Last month, the retailer said a lease agreement has been concluded with the Muguku family-owned Karen Waterfront. Shoprite said it will follow up on other opportunities in the country as they become available.

The chain has stores operating at Westgate Mall and Garden City Mall.

City Mall in Nyali, Mombasa kicked Nakumatt out of its premises in March after the troubled firm accumulated Sh27.8 million in rent arrears. Shoprite snapped up the space soon after. Shoprite already operates in Tanzania and Uganda with a strong presence in Central, Southern and West Africa and wants to deepen its business in East Africa.

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