(Bloomberg) — HomeChoice Holdings Ltd., a South African online retailer, plans to start trading on Johannesburg’s stock exchange as it seeks to expand on the continent outside its home market.
A newly formed holding company, HomeChoice International Plc, will debut on the main board of the stock exchange on Dec. 4, the Cape Town-based retailer said in an e-mailed statement today. While HomeChoice doesn’t plan to raise capital, access to public markets provides an additional source of funding, according to Chief Executive Officer Shirley Maltz.
“Expansion into the rest of Africa presents a major growth opportunity for our business in the medium to long term,” Maltz said. “Creating an international holding company will enable faster and more efficient allocation of capital to accelerate our growth in Africa.”
International retailers and technology companies are expanding in Africa to take advantage of rising incomes and adoption of Internet connections through smartphones. HomeChoice already operates in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia. Customers in these African countries account for almost 12 percent of HomeChoice’s retail sales, the company said.
HomeChoice may start share trading at an indicative price of 29.4 rand, according to a circular posted on the company’s website. Based on the number of shares in issue, that would value the retailer at 2.96 billion rand ($262 million).
Other new entrants on JSE Ltd.’s market this year include retirement-fund administrator Alexander Forbes Holdings Ltd., canned-goods maker Rhodes Food Group Pty Ltd. and poultry company Quantum Foods Holdings Ltd. HomeChoice International will be based in Malta to ease restrictions on capital flows, the company said.
Existing shareholders including Malta-based GFM Holdings are being offered one share in HomeChoice International for each HomeChoice Holdings share. They will vote on Nov. 24, according to a spokesman for the company.