Choppies’ JSE listing not far

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 09 December 2014   |   By Kabelo Adamson
Choppies’ JSE listing not far

Choppies Enterprise Limited is yet to take the decision on the possible dual listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) where it also operates a number of chain stores.

The group CEO, Ramanchadran Ottapathu, said in interview on Friday after Choppies Annual General Meeting (AGM) that the board is yet to make a decision on debuting on the JSE. He, however, said the dual listing is on the way.

Choppies was first listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange in January  2012 with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 1.2 billion shares listed at an offer price of P1.15 per share raising P350 million on both IPO and private placement. The IPO was said at the time to be the largest in the history of BSE.

Though Choppies incurred massive losses in the immediate past year in the South African market with losses amounting to more than P19 million, Ottapathu said the expectation is that profits will start to swell once they have established 35 stores.

Choppies has been experiencing some challenges in South Africa with labour unrest as well soured relationships with the trade unions. The group chairman Festus Mogae, who was re-elected during the Friday AGM, maintained that they will have to cordially work with the established structures in South Africa for the growth of the company.

Mogae told the shareholders that the situation in South Africa can only be remedied by mutual relationship between Choppies and the labour unions which has affected the operations.

He announced that the group will soon expand into other African countries such as Zambia, Namibia and Tanzania but it is in Zambia where they are at an advanced stage.

Mogae allayed any fears among the investors of the risk of further expansion into untried markets, insisting that if South African chain store operators doing business in Botswana can do it across Africa, they as Choppies will also make it in further African markets.

At the AGM, Executive Director, Farouk Ismail was also re-elected as the Deputy Chairman for the ensuing year. Part of the business was to approve remuneration paid to the auditors, KPMG for the year ended 30 June 2014. The audit firm was also re-appointed for the coming financial year.

Choppies shareholders also on Friday approved the group audited financial statements for the just ended year together with the directors and auditors reports. Choppies shares traded at a subdued 407 Thebe on Friday.