Christoffel Wiese South African Billionaire And Owner Of PEPKOR

Wednesday, August 09,2017
Published by Jackson Mathebula
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Wiese studied at Paarl Boys' High School in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Wiese attended Stellenbosch University, from where he received BA and LLB degrees

After university, Wiese practised law at the Cape Bar for some years before working as a Director at Pepkor, the discount clothing chain that his parents helped to found.

Under his leadership, Shoprite started out as a chain of eight supermarkets in Cape Town that was purchased for 1 million Rand (equivalent to $122,000 USD) which grew into a multibillion-dollar business due to various acquisitions and expansion strategies made in the first 30 years of operations. After playing a role in helping Shoprite acquire distributor Senta, Wiese started expanding his business into franchising new locations for Shoprite department stores. He also purchased the struggling OK Bazaars from South African Breweries for one rand in 1997; inserting 157 supermarkets and 146 furniture stores to the company and adding jobs to the area. In 2011, Wiese's Shoprite stores were considered to be the sixth overall favourite brand, with a third most valued brand in terms of community upliftment in South Africa. In addition to Shoprite, Wiese owns more than 1200 corporate outlets under various names. Shares of Shoprite rose by 50% on the South African stock market from March 2011 to March 2012, with Wiese making a $1.5 billion profit.

Wiese has a net worth of $6.8 billion and is the Executive Director of South African retail giant Shoprite (JSE: SHP). Wiese has been chairman of Invicta Holdings Limited since 2006. Wiese has become the 11th most successful businessman in his chosen fields of industry (accounting, banking, finance, consumer goods, fashion, and retail) and the 69th most successful person in South African history.

He is the 44% owner of Pepkor since becoming the chairman there in 1981 and starting out as an executive director for the retail store Pep from 1967 to 1973. Pepkor is a discount store in South Africa that was founded in 1965. A private game reserve in the Kalahari Desert and the prestigious wine producer - the Lourensford Estate - are some of the properties that Wiese owns. Wiese is the 367th wealthiest person in the world and the third wealthiest person in South Africa. The Cape Town Sakekamer awarded with the title of Business Leader of the Year while the South African Council of Shopping Centres awarded him with the prestigious Pioneer of the 20th Century Award.

On 16 April 2015, it was reported that Virgin Group and their private equity backers had sold 80% of Virgin Active to the South African investment firm Brait, owned by Wiese. The sale price will be £682 million for an 80% stake, valuing the business at £1.3 billion, including debt, and the transaction should be completed in summer 2015, and the company will continue to operate under the Virgin Active brand.

As of August 2016, Steinhoff International is a German-listed $22 billion furniture conglomerate led by South African retail mogul Christo Wiese who is also Steinhoff’s chairman and largest shareholder.

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