Botswana’s largest grocer Choppies says its chairman and former president of the country Festus Mogae will leave the group while the company also revealed its plants to move out of South Africa. In a cautionary on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSEL), the company advised its shareholders that the board of directors has completed a strategic review of its South African business. “As a consequence, the Board has concluded that exiting the South African market is the appropriate strategic decision for the Company,” it said.
Therefore, the company noted that it has commenced a process which may result in the divestment of Choppies Supermarkets SA (Pty) Ltd in whole or in part and which if successfully concluded, may have a material effect on the price of its securities.
“The Board informs stakeholders of the appointment of Redford Capital (also engaged as ‘Chief Restructuring Officer’ of the Company), to the role of Sole Lead Co-ordinator and Advisor on behalf of Choppies in respect of advising on and executing the divestiture transaction process.”
Choppies also advised in a circular to shareholders that Mogae will step down as board chairman. “Shareholders are advised that His Excellency Festus Mogae, the Chairman, has indicated to the Board that he will retire as Chairman and as a Director with effect from the conclusion of business at the Annual General Meeting of the Company at which the 2018 AFS are received and approved by Shareholders,” it said.
“For this reason, unlike the other existing Directors, who will retire immediately prior to the relevant resolution for his/her reappointment, the Chairman will not do so at the EGM.”
The EGM will be held at 10h00 on 4 September 2019, at the Grand Aria Hotel and Conference Centre situated at Plot 32943, Block 3, West Gate Gaborone, Botswana, to consider, among other things, and, to vote on, with or without modification, the Proposed Resolutions.
“Shareholders are advised that Mr (Ram) Ottapathu has, in terms of clause 15.6 (b) of the Constitution, indicated to the Board that he will require voting at the EGM to take place by way of poll, rather than on a show of hands. In terms of clause 15.9 of the Constitution, if a poll is taken, votes must be counted according to the votes attached to each Shareholder present in person or by representative and voting.”
Choppies status as a listed company
Per the announcement published on 1 November 2018, the trading of the Company shares on both the BSEL and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (“JSE”) remains suspended until further notice. The Company’s primary listing is on the BSEL and its secondary listing is on the JSE.