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S.Africa’s Shoprite grocery chain may pull out of Nigeria

South Africa’s Shoprite group, the continent’s largest supermarket chain, said Monday it was mulling exiting Nigeria a decade-and-half after it ventured into the continent’s most populous country.

It said it was revaluating its operating model in Africa’s oil producing nation.

“Following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the group’s operating model in Nigeria, the board has decided to initiate a formal process to consider the potential sale of all, or a majority stake,” it said in a statement.

Shoprite, which caters for mainly middle class shoppers in Nigeria, “may be classified as a discontinued operation” by the end of the current financial year, it said.

The retailer opened its first shop in Nigeria in 2005.

In 2014 it opened it first outlet in Kano in northern Nigeria as part of an aggressive expansion drive, defying wider concerns about security in the region.

Shoprite operates more than 2,300 outlets in 15 African countries, including Nigeria, Angola, Malawi, and Zambia.