M&A Roundup: Steinhoff sells assets and Standard Bank sells stake in ICBC Argentina

Also: Choppies plans to sell South Africa store and Fairvest abandons Safari Investments merger.

Steinhoff plans to sell off more assets to become a retail-focused holding company in a bid to survive after it recovered €6.5 billion (about R111 billion) in accounting fraud, sparking a share price collapse.

During a first public presentation to investors this week since the scandal took hold, Steinhoff CEO Louis du Preez (pictured) said a radical transformation into a retail-focused investment holding company was its “only way to survive”. This means that the retailer might sell more assets as well as cut jobs at its French retail chain Conforama. Louis didn’t name the assets that might be up for sale.

Read more: Steinhoff to sell more assets 

Equites Property Fund has concluded an agreement with Barlow Property II LLP to acquire a new 24,340m² distribution centre situated in Glasshoughton, near Leeds, for £30,675 million. This is Equites’ ninth property in the UK and means that about one-third of its total asset base worth more than R8 billion is now in the region. 

Read more: Equites Property Fund buys more assets in the UK 

Choppies Enterprises said it planned to sell its stores in South Africa as economic growth slows in Africa’s most advanced economy. It has been four years since Choppies expanded into South Africa.

Read more: Botswana retailer Choppies plans to exit South Africa market 

Fairvest Property Holdings has abandoned its merger with shopping mall owner Safari Investments, while Cape Town-based Community Property (Comprop) ups the stakes.

Read more: Safari withdraws Fairvest takeover offer

Omnia plans to raise as much as R2 billion through a rights issue that is priced at R20 per share. Omnia, which said in May it would use the proceeds to reduce its debt, will issue 100 million shares, it said in a statement on Monday. 

Read more: Omnia to raise R2 billion through rights issue

Standard Bank Group plans to sell its 20 percent stake in an Argentinian financial services group ICBC Argentina and use the proceeds to build up its African operations. 

Read more: South Africa’s Standard Bank sells stake in Argentinian firm