A South African retailer said Thursday it had pulled o ut of a deal to acquire a similar business in Zimbabwe because of ‘political uncertainty’ in in the neighbouring country.
Shoprite, one of South Africa’s biggest retailers, had placed a R167 million bid to acqiure the majority shareholding in OK Zimbabwe, the nation’s largest consumer retailer.
Brian Weyers, Shoprite’s executive director, said the deal had been called off b ecause of lingering ‘socio-economic and political uncertainty’ in Zimbabwe.
The southern African country is emerging from 10 years of economic crisis fueled by a violent tussle for political power between the opposition and the then government of President Robert Mugabe.
The political stalemate ended early this year with the formation of a coalition government, but there is rising tension in the joint administration, prompting worries among potential foreign investors.
“Due to the current socio-economic and political uncertainty in Zimbabwe, Shopri te has decided not to engage in further investment opportunities in that country,” Weyers said.