StanChart private equity arm takes stake in Botswana grocer

JOHANNESBURG Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:33am EST

JOHANNESBURG Jan 14 (Reuters) - Standard Chartered said on Tuesday its private equity arm has taken a 13 percent stake in Botswana-listed supermarket chain Choppies Enterprises , the latest private equity deal to target African consumers.

London-listed Standard Chartered did not disclose the acquisition price, but Choppies has a market value of $456 million, according to Thomson Reuters data, which would make the stake worth nearly $6 million.

Fast-growing Africa is increasingly seen as fertile ground for private equity firms, given rapid economic growth and rising consumer spending.

Sub-Saharan capital markets are largely illiquid, apart from a few major centres such as Johannesburg and Nairobi, making private equity one of the few vehicles for investing in African companies.

Choppies, the largest retailer in diamond-producing Botswana, operates more than 100 supermarkets and has operations in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

In 2012 Standard Chartered increased its private equity stake in pan-African agribusiness Export Trading Group, in which U.S. buyout firm Carlyle Group LP is also an investor.