Shoprite negotiating for transparency with Christo Wiese, who needs to step back

Shoprite plans to buy chairman Christo Wiese's shares to achieve greater transparency for shareholders.

Negotiations between Shoprite and chairman Christo Wiese are underway, spearheaded by shareholders who want to dilute Wiese’s influence in the retailer. 

The company wants to purchase Christo’s deferred shares, which carry 32.3 percent of the voting rights of Shoprite Holdings and are held through Thibault Square Financial Services. The shares date back to 1986, when the company was first listed. 

If the proposed transaction becomes successful it will simplify the company’s voting share structure and will align the company with international best corporate governance practice. 

It will also allow them to create a separate and transparent identity separate from Wiese, who was implicated in the Steinhoff scandal. 

"This is out-and-out a shareholder-driven engagement and decision making purely by the shareholders. No management decisions are involved," said Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht. This means that Wiese will have no say about the final shape the transaction will take.