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Africa retail giants Steinhoff, Shoprite shelve merger

South African retail firms Steinhoff International and Shoprite Holdings announced Monday they had scrapped plans to merge their local assets to form the continent’s biggest retailer.

The plan announced in December 2016 was geared to create a discount retailer worth over $14 billion to target Africa’s value conscious consumers.

The companies said in a joint statement they “decided to terminate their negotiations related to the proposed transaction” as their shareholders could not reach agreement.

“The fact that the relevant parties could not reach an agreement in respect of the share exchange resulted in the negotiations being terminated,” read the statement.

The proposed ventured was to be called Retail Africa.

Both companies are leaders in the African retail sector.

Shoprite is the continent’s largest supermarket with a footprint in 14 African countries, including Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, oil-producing Angola and Zambia.

It was proposed that Steinhoff would sell its African assets to Shoprite in return for a controlling stake in the supermarket chain.

Steinhoff’s African businesses include a range of credit-based household goods and the company also has extensive interests in Europe.