South African retail billionaire Christo Wiese has created a shell company in the UK, as he looks to begin discussions about taking over fashion retailers in the country.
Pepkor UK is named after Wiese’s retail investment group Pepkor, which manages a portfolio of value-market chains including Pep and Ackermans in South Africa and Best & Less in Australia. It will be headed by former Asda boss Andy Bond and his business partner Mark Elliott.
It was revealed in November that Wiese, who is worth around £2.2bn, was eyeing up Sir Philip Green’s value chain BHS. The team is now thought to be considering a number of possibilities in the clothing market involving smaller chains.
Any acquisitions would be reversed into the Pepkor UK shell and would become part of the wider Pepkor network, which extends from South Africa to Nigeria, Australia and Poland.