Carrefour, a supermarket chain owned by UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim, is in talks with Shoprite, with a view to acquiring the latter’s stake in Uganda.

The two principals are in the final stages of concluding the deal with the announcement expected soon, according to CEO East Africa Magazine.

“They are finalising the practical details and possibly filing the necessary regulatory paperwork, before formally announcing the deal,” CEO East Africa Magazine, quoting sources, says.

None of the two principals denied or confirmed the deal, which is believed to be discussed at the highest level, according to media reports.

“The Shoprite Group constantly reviews its business operations as part of its ongoing evaluations of current and future performance and it will update the market as and when appropriate to do so,” Shoprite Group is quoted as saying.

The takeover would underlie Carrefour’s determination to cement its mark on the Ugandan market. Carrefour opened its first outlet in Uganda in 2019, and currently operates over 130 hypermarkets, supermarkets, and online stores in 15 countries across the region, with plans to extend into 38 countries in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Russia.

On the other hand, it would mark the end of Shoprite’s 21 year journey in Uganda. Shoprite is owned by investors from South Africa. Shoprite has 5 stores in Uganda. Over the last three years, Shoprite has been performing abysmally. According to the 2020 results, the company’s accumulated losses were reported at UgShs43.5 billion, up from UgShs24.5 billion in 2017. This can only mean that in 2018 and 2019 the company made combined losses of about UgShs19 billion.