Makro and Game owner Massmart has entered into negotiations to acquire a controlling stake in OneCart to boost its centralised eCommerce capability.
OneCart is a fast-moving consumer goods marketplace and logistics platform that partners with retailers to enable fast, flexible and efficient online sales and home delivery countrywide.
The platform provides access to products across the dry grocery, frozen and fresh foods, liquor, baby, health and beauty, household and pet supplies categories – all made available to consumers via a single shopping interface.
“In keeping with the company’s strategy to invest in and accelerate its eCommerce presence, this potential acquisition will allow the company to further expand its capabilities in the fast-growing on-demand delivery segment, while continuing to support the independent retailer marketplace model of OneCart,” Massmart said in a statement on Wednesday (25 August).
The group said it is currently in the process of negotiating and finalising transaction documentation.
“Negotiations are at an advanced stage and Massmart is hopeful to conclude discussions in the coming weeks pending finalisation of a few key matters.”
Offloading non-core businesses
On Friday, Massmart announced the sale of several non-core businesses to the Shoprite Group for R1.36 billion. The sale will see Shoprite take ownership of Cambridge Food, Rhino, Massfresh and 12 Cash & Carry stores.
Massmart said that it will use the sale proceeds to pay down drawn bank facilities and invest in e-commerce. It will also pump money into merchandise areas where the remaining Massmart brands are the market leaders.
This includes general merchandise (Makro), DIY (Builders) and wholesale food and liquor.
“The sale marks another step in the group’s portfolio optimisation process and will, amongst other benefits, free-up management time to enable increased focus on leveraging Massmart’s core merchandise and market strengths,” said Massmart Group chief executive Mitch Slape.
Under the terms of the deal, the group said that staff affected by the sale will continue to be employed by Shoprite on terms and conditions that are “on the whole, not less favourable than their existing employment contracts”.
“We are of the opinion that these are sound businesses with good long-term prospects. They are being sold as going concerns and, in the hands of a well-established and efficient fresh food and grocery retailer, will reach their full potential, thereby saving jobs and protecting livelihoods,” Slape said.