Pick n Pay ups stake in Zimbabwe's TM Supermarkets

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Pick n Pay ups stake in Zimbabwe's TM Supermarkets

Stewart Property

Zimbabwe's competition regulator approved Pick n Pay's plans to raise its stake in that country's biggest grocery merchant, a $13-million deal that forms part of the South African food retailer's expansion plans across the continent.

Under the deal, Cape Town-based Pick n Pay would raise its shareholding in Thomas Meikles (TM) Supermarkets from 25% to 49%, TM Supermarkets parent company Meikles Limited said in a statement on Friday.

The investment had been approved mid-year by Zimbabwe's central bank and empowerment ministry but the Competition and Tariff Commission was yet to give its nod.

Zimbabwe's government is pressing foreign-owned companies, including mines and banks, to transfer at least 51% shares to blacks under an empowerment programme that has caused unease among foreign investors.

Some of the stores of TM Supermarkets -- Zimbabwe's largest grocery retailer -- would be rebranded Pick n Pay under the deal.

Cape Town-based Pick n Pay is pulling out of Australia to focus on expansion closer to home and fend off competition from US retailer Walmart, which recently bought control of South African merchant Massmart -- Reuters


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