Choppies CEO faces the chop


Choppies CEO faces the chop

Published Date: 2019-05-22 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

Choppies CEO faces the chop

The mass retailer says it will decide on the action to take against Ramachandran Ottapathu once legal and forensic investigations are completed.

Choppies has suspended CEO Ramachandran Ottapathu following a board meeting on Monday as the supermarket group prepares to wrap up legal and forensic investigations into its accounts.

In a statement, Choppies said Ottapathu's suspension would take place from today and would last until the board determines the action, if any, to be taken. It's waiting for the results of the investigations, which are due to be concluded by the end of this month and next month respectively.

In the meantime, deputy chairman Farouk Ismail will take on the role of interim acting CEO. The group has also appointed SA business turnaround firm Redford Capital as chief restructuring officer. It will be tasked with reviewing the Choppies business and identifying various action plans to improve it.

Choppies shares were suspended from trade on the Botswana Stock Exchange and the JSE last November after it missed its 30 September deadline to release its 2018 financial results due to a number of matters requiring the attention of its management and board of directors.

At the time, it said auditors PwC were reassessing a number of past accounting practices and policies and had identified a number of matters which required independent verification and expert legal analysis and advice. Certain acquisitions undertaken by its SA subsidiary over the past couple of years were being scrutinised, as was a shareholder dispute in Zimbabwe.

Choppies' shares traded at 64c ahead of their suspension following a sharp decline. The stock traded above R7 in August 2015 shortly after listing on the JSE.

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