5 companies owned by South African billionaire Christo Wiese


South African billionaire Christo Wiese has reclaimed his position among Africa’s wealthiest billionaires, highlighting the importance of a diversified portfolio in reducing risk exposure and sustaining wealth.

Wiese, known for his stakes in multiple companies, has seen his fortune soar once again, primarily driven by his 11.63-percent stake in retail giant Shoprite Holdings.

His triumphant return to the Forbes Richest list comes after a four-year absence due to the tumultuous accounting scandal at Steinhoff, a multinational retailer.

The scandal resulted in financial difficulties for the company, leading to a significant decline in Wiese’s net worth. Prior to the collapse, his wealth amounted to an impressive $6.8 billion, making him one of Africa’s wealthiest individuals.

However, between January and December 2017, Wiese’s fortune plummeted to a mere $742 million as a result of the fraudulent activities and misappropriation of funds that plagued Steinhoff.

To enhance liquidity during the challenging period, Wiese made the strategic decision to reduce his economic interests in Shoprite from approximately 18 percent to 11.63 percent.

Wiese’s resilience and astute investments across various African countries have catapulted him back into the billionaire ranks. His fortune, presently estimated at $1.1 billion, solidifies his standing as one of Africa’s notable billionaires.

At the core of Wiese’s wealth lies his stake in Shoprite Holdings, which he played a pivotal role in expanding and growing.

Shoprite has emerged as South Africa’s largest food retailer and the continent’s leading retail giant, boasting annual sales exceeding $9 billion. With more than 2,989 stores spread across Africa, the company provides employment to approximately 142,000 individuals.

Wiese’s return to the Forbes Richest List has increased the total number of African billionaires from 18 to 19, signifying the region’s growing wealth and economic potential. His success story serves as a testament to the importance of a diversified portfolio as he continues to navigate the challenging business landscape with a keen eye for profitable ventures.

Billionaires.Africa has identified and monitored several assets and holdings associated with Wiese. The billionaire maintains direct ownership or controlling interests in these five companies. These diverse stakes contribute to Wiese’s expanding wealth and reinforce his position as one of Africa’s most influential business figures.

Shoprite Holdings: With an impressive 11.63-percent stake, Wiese stands as the second-largest shareholder in Africa’s leading retailer, Shoprite Holdings, just behind Public Investment Corporation Limited, which holds a 17.1-percent stake in the group. Wiese’s stake in Shoprite is currently valued at R14 billion ($733 million), positioning him among the wealthiest investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
Brait Plc: Brait is a prominent South African investment holding company that oversees a diverse portfolio of significant unlisted businesses in the consumer sector, including Premier Group, Virgin Active, and Consol. Among its esteemed shareholders is Christo Wiese, whose 28.5-percent stake in the company is presently worth R1.2 billion ($62.9 million). This investment solidifies Wiese’s standing as one of South Africa’s wealthiest and most influential investors.
Premier Group: Within his extensive asset portfolio, Christo Wiese holds a significant 46.7-percent stake in Premier Group, a renowned South African fast-moving consumer goods company. Established in 1820, this company offers a diverse range of products, including flour, bread, baked goods, confectionery items, home and personal care products, and specialized baby and cosmetic range products. Wiese’s involvement in the South African food industry extends beyond his direct stake in Premier Group, as he also possesses an indirect 28.5-percent stake in Brait, further amplifying his influence in this sector.
Pepkor Holdings: A holding company which, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a retailer focusing on discount, value, and specialized goods in Angola, Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zambia counts Christo Wiese as one of its shareholders. At the time of drafting this report, the market value of Wiese’s stake amounts to an impressive R3.3 billion ($173 million).
Invicta Holdings: Wiese holds a significant ownership stake of 19.23 percent in Invicta Holdings, an investment holding company involved in the distribution of engineering components and consumables. With operations spanning across South Africa, the rest of Africa, Europe, and the United States, Invicta Holdings distributes engineering consumables and fluid technology products and offers its clients comprehensive on-site installation, maintenance, and solution services