Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Botswana suspends Choppies. . .Top director quits regional retailer

A Senior director has quit the troubled regional retailer, Choppies Enterprises, at a time when the company has been suspended from trading shares in both the Botswana and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

Supermarket group Choppies
Supermarket group Choppies

The Choppies board has since advised its shareholders of the resignation of non-executive director ,Mr Sydney Alan Muller, with immediate effect.

“Choppies will commence the process to appoint an independent non-executive director to the board in Syd’s place, and shareholders will be advised once such an appointment has been made,” it said in a statement.

The Company’s primary listing is on the Botswana Stock Exchange and its secondary listing is on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The Botswana Stock Exchange insists that trading in the shares of regional food retailer, Choppies Enterprises, remains suspended after the company missed a deadline to publish its financial results, the bourse operator said on Thursday.

Choppies operates in eight African countries including Zimbabwe and has a secondary listing in Johannesburg, where its shares were also suspended recently.

It failed to release its annual results within three months of its financial year-end, breaking the stock exchange’s rules.

“The trading of the Choppies securities will remain suspended until the company complies with the Stock Exchange listings rules or until further notice,” the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) said.

Choppies has 1.3 billion shares listed in Botswana and on the Johannesburg stock exchange.

The giant retailer has been recently embroiled in nasty shareholder disputes, which have spilled to courts in Zimbabwe and heavily tainted the company’s image.

In September, Choppies said the delay in publishing its results was due to its new auditors’ reassessment of the company’s balance sheet.

New external auditors appointed in January 2018 are reassessing the company’s past accounting practices and policies including valuation of inventory, impairments on property, plant equipment and the value of acquisitions by its South African subsidiary.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Choppies said it was still not able to determine when it would be in position to issue financial statements for the year ended June.

Shares in Choppies have dropped more than 70 percent so far this year compared with a 10 percent decline for the Botswana stock exchange.

Choppies runs around 200 stores mainly at home and in north-western parts of South Africa. It has a market value of around R50 million ($3.44 million).

The troubled group had 71 stores in South Africa in 2017, making the country its second-largest market after Botswana. It also operates in Kenya, Zambia. The Chronicle.