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Nakumatt to Buy Out Shoprite in Uganda

Kampala — Supermarket giant Nakumatt Holdings has finalized plans to buy two stores owned by South African retail chain Shoprite.

In an interview in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday, Mr Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, the Nakumatt Holdings head of strategy and operations, told Kenyan-based Business Daily, a sister newspaper to Daily Monitor, that the "retail chain will sign the deal in less than two weeks".

"We will be signing the Memorandum of Understanding with Shoprite to acquire their outlets in Uganda," Mr Ramamurthy said.

Daily Monitor could not get a comment from the Shoprite Uganda country manager, Mr Jayte Slabbert, as he was reportedly on leave and out of the country.

Emails sent to managers at the Shoprite headquarters in South Africa remained unanswered by press time.

At the close of May, Shoprite closed one of its outlets in Naalya, Kampala, citing under-performance and poor location.

Shoprite, which started operations in 2000, has two retail stores - one in Lugogo and another in downtown Kampala on Ben Kiwanuka Street.

The supermarket business has become too competitive owing to the entry of several new retailers including Uchumi, Capital Shoppers, Quality, Nakumatt and Tuskys.

The South African retailer has a workforce of more than 500 employees, which Nakumatt intends to take over.

The buyout will mark the exit of the South African retail giant from the East African market having sold its three Tanzanian outlets to Nakumatt for a reported Shs124b.

Currently, Nakumatt has eight branches in Uganda and continues on an ambitious expansion plan across the country.

The deal

Shoprite operations. Shorprite, which opened operations in 2002 has two outlets in Uganda. The third outlet in Naalya was closed in May. The two outlets will be acquired by Nakumatt at a yet to be disclosed amount.

By Simon Ciuri and Didas Kisembo
The Monitor Newspaper

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