Botswana retailer picks Kenyan partner in EA growth plans

Tuesday May 19 2015

Choppies Supermarket, a Botswana-listed retail chain has picked a Kenyan businessman as its partner to help in its expansion plan into East Africa.

Birju Pradipkumar Patel, who serves as a director at Export Trading Group — one of the largest global agriculture commodity companies based in Dar es Salaam — confirmed that he had partnered with Choppies for its Kenya and Tanzania operations.

Pre-listing statement prepared by the retailer ahead of its secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Wednesday next week revealed that Mr Pradipkumar and another investor Parin Bharakumar Patel are directors at Choppies Enterprise Kenya Limited, a subsidiary of the Botswana retailer.

Speaking to the Business Daily on phone from South Africa, Mr Pradipkumar confirmed that he is the director of Choppies Kenya and Tanzania but declined to disclose details on the extent of his investment.

“Yes. We have registered a subsidiary in Kenya and Tanzania,” said Mr Pradipkumar last Thursday.

Choppies, in its pre-listing statement named Mr Patel and Mr Pradipkumar as shareholders of its local subsidiary with 75 per cent shares held.


The retailer’s mode of expansion has always been acquisition and use of local suppliers, which it said has been successful.

Mr Pradipkumar, however, remained tight-lipped on which local supermarket they would acquire for their entry in Kenya. “We have not yet decided but we are looking,” he said.

Mr Pradipkumar added that they are yet to conclude designing a strategy for their entry into Kenya market. Choppies on Monday last week announced its entry in East Africa as it expands in Africa.

The retailer said it had been attracted by the low development of Kenya’s formal retail market, estimated at about 30 per cent penetration.

Choppies expects to raise about $48 million for expansion and to clear outstanding debt. The firm has market capitalisation of $520 million and reported revenue of ($501.2 million) last year.

London-based real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank on Thursday said multinationals are being attracted to Kenya because of spending power of consumers and appeal of international brands.