Botswana’s Choppies sparkles in Johannesburg stock market debut

Shares rose to as high as R5.50, well above a R4.90 offer price prior to the listing.

Botswana’s Choppies surged on its stock market debut in Johannesburg on Wednesday as investors piled into the grocer that has laid down an aggressive expansion plan.

Choppies, which already trades in Botswana, rose to as high as R5.50, well above a R4.90 offer price prior to the listing.

The stock closed 10.2% higher at R5.40, giving it market capitalisation of about R7 billion ($578 million).

Choppies raised R1.4 billion in an initial public offering last week. The company said it would use the money to pay down debt and fund growth.

It plans to expand from 125 stores in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and plans to enter Zambia and Tanzania in the next few months, expanding its outlets to 200 stores by end 2016.

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