Harare - Zimbabwe's competition regulator approved Pick n
Pay Stores [JSE:PIK] plans to raise its stake in that country’s biggest grocery
merchant, a $13m 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 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