Full Name: Christoffel Hendrik Wiese
Chairman of Pepkor Limited
Net Worth $3.5 Billion (R30 Billion) as of March 2013
Christoffel Wiese is a Non-Executive Chairman of Invicta Holdings Limited. He is also the Chairman of Pepkor. He is currently the controlling shareholder of Shoprite Holdings Limited, Africa’s largest retailer. Christo Wiese serves on the boards of numerous companies and holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Laws and an Honorary Doctor of Commerce.
At a Glance
- Born: September 10, 1941 (age 72)
- Residence: Brackenfell, Cape Town, South Africa
- Known for: For being a self-made millionaire in the consumer retail industry during Africa’s formative years
Christo Wiese: Biography
South Africa’s third richest man, Christoffel Wiese, is the chairman and the largest single shareholder of Africa’s biggest retailer, low-priced supermarket chain Shoprite. He also owns a large stake in discount clothes, shoes and textiles chain Pepkor, where he is executive chairman. Wiese is significantly invested in seven publicly traded companies, and according to Forbes magazine, those stakes are worth approximately $500 million more than they were a year ago. In 2009 Wiese, known as Christo, found himself in an awkward situation when $1.1 million in cash was found in his luggage and confiscated at London City Airport. The cash was finally returned in July 2012, despite his insistence that the sum was “peanuts” to him. Wiese restored a South African farm estate and turned it into a five-star hotel, Lanzerac Manor & Winery. He replanted the vineyards around it, created a modern cellar and has been making wine. He also owns wine producer Lourensford Estate and a private game reserve in the Kalahari.
Christoffel H. Wiese, BA, LLB (born September 10, 1941) is a veteran business leader from South Africa. His source of wealth is consumer retail. Wiese attended the Stellenbosch University in Stellenbosch, South Africa and was a resident there. His matriculation was spent at Paarl Boys’ High School in the Western Cape region of South Africa.
Wiese is married and has three children.
Wiese is worth $3.1 billion and is the Executive Director of South African retail giant Shoprite (JSE: SHP). Other known accomplishments in Christoffel’s career includes being a chairman of Invicta Holdings Limited (but without executive powers) starting in 2006. Wiese has become the 11th most successful businessman in his chosen fields of industry (accounting, banking, finance, consumer goods, fashion, and retail) and the 69th most successful person in South African history.
Under his leadership, Shoprite started out as a chain of eight supermarkets in Cape Town that was purchased for 1 million Rand (equivalent to $122,000 USD) which eventually blossomed into the multi-billion dollar business status it enjoys today thanks to various acquisitions and innovative expansion strategies made in the first 30 years of operations. After playing a role in helping Shoprite acquire distributor Senta, Wiese started expanding his business into franchising new locations for Shoprite department stores. He also purchased the struggling OK Bazaars from South African Breweries for one rand in 1997; inserting 157 supermarkets and 146 furniture stores to the company and adding jobs to the area. In 2011, Wiese’s Shoprite stores were considered to be the sixth overall favourite brand, with a third most valued brand in terms of community upliftment in South Africa. In addition to Shoprite, Christoffel owns more than 1200 corporate outlets under various names. Shares of Shoprite have skyrocketed by 50% on the South African national stock market from March 2011 to March 2012; leading to Wiese making a hefty $1.5 billion profit.
He is legally the 44% owner of Pepkor since becoming the chairman there in 1981 and starting out as an executive director for the retail store Pep from 1967 to 1973. Pepkor is a discount store in South Africa that was founded in 1965. A private game reserve in the Kalahari Desert and the prestigious wine producer – the Lourensford Estate – are some of the properties that Wiese owns. Wiese is the 367th wealthiest person in the world and the third wealthiest person in South Africa. The Cape Town Sakekamer awarded with the title of Business Leader of the Year while the South African Council of Shopping Centres awarded him with the prestigious Pioneer of the 20th Century Award.
Lanzerac Manor & Winery
Wiese has managed to restore a South African farm dating back from the 19th century and converted it into a five-star hotel called the Lanzerac Manor & Winery; where 48 luxury rooms are available for rent. However, he no longer owns the winery as he sold the property to a foreign investment firm for an undisclosed amount of money on March 7, 2012. Wiese originally bought the property in 1991 in order to diversify his wealth.
As of August 2012, Wiese officially owes more than $250 million (R2 Billion) in taxes to the Government of South Africa.
- Non-Executive Chaiman | INVICTA HOLDINGS LIMITED
2006 – present
Accounting, Banking and Finance
- Chair | Pepkor Limited
1981 – present
- Consumer Goods, Fashion and Retail
- Director | Lenco Holdings Limited
- Chairperson | Pepgro Limited
- Executive Chairman | TRADEHOLD LIMITED
- External Director | SASOL LIMITED
- Director | KWV
- Owner | Lanzerac Manor & Winery
Consumer Goods, Fashion and Retail
Chair | Brown & Jackson plc
- Independent Non-Executive Director | AFRICAN DAWN CAPITAL LIMITED
South Africa; Accounting, Banking and Finance
- Independent Non-Executive Director | PSG GROUP LIMITED
Accounting, Banking and Finance
- Chair | SHOPRITE HOLDINGS LIMITED
- Director | Co-Operative Winegrowers of SA
- Chairperson | BoE (Pty) Ltd
- Director | Titan Financial Services
- Chairperson | Smart Centre Holdings
- Director | Monex Group of companies
- Chairperson | Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited
- Director | Metropolitan Life Limited
- Chairperson | Orion Selections Holdings Limited
- Executive Director | Pep Stores (1967 – 1973)
- University of Cape Town
Bachelor of Arts
- University of Stellenbosch
Doctorate – Commerce honoris
- Diagonal Strategic Communicator of the Year
- Marketing Manager of the Year | Institute of Marketing Management
- Business Leader of the Year | Cape Town Sakekamer
- Pioneer of the 20th Century Award | South African Council of Shopping Centres
- MS Louw Award for Exceptional Business Achievements
Intellidex Richest Men in South Africa List | 2012
Christoffel Wiese career information at Forbes.com
Article about the richest men in South Africa at Sabsa.co.za
Christoffel Wiese at Who’s Whos SA
Chrisoffel Wiese at TheRichest.org