Ellis Retail Group acquires Payless Supermarket

• 200 new staff hired • Payless has 8 branches in and around Gaborone

Ellis Retail Group acquires Payless Supermarket

The Ellis Retail Group (ERG) has completed a successful acquisition of the Payless Retail Proprietary Limited brand in Botswana which has been in liquidation since March 2020, The Business Weekly & Review has established.

This follows the successful conclusion of a purchase agreement with Payless Supermarkets liquidator, Kopanang Thekiso.

Payless Retail (Pty) Ltd is part of the Ellis Retail Group, a company under the Acute Global Limited group of companies. Through this assets acquisition, Ellis Retail Group reached a significant milestone with the Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA) regarding the acquisition.

Speaking on this move,  Elliot Moshoke, the CEO of Acute Global Limited which is the investment holding company for the “new” Payless, said the acquisition is aimed at asserting the ambition of a proudly Botswana citizen owned entity aiming to be among regionally competitive retail companies.

“Despite the challenges that COVID -19 presents in today’s economy, we are hopeful that the Payless brand is one that every Motswana connects to and we aspire to groom it to one that we can all be proud of, once again,” Moshoke said.

This publication has confirmed that Payless Retail (Pty) Ltd concluded the exercise of offering employment contracts for all 200 staff members to be effective from April 1st 2021, in a decision aimed at retaining them.


The workers were retained as part of its turn-around strategy to ensure there were no job losses in this transition.

Addressing staff members at the Main Mall Payless store as part of staff engagement workshops held across all eight branches, the Head of Corporate Affairs at Acute Global Limited, Omphile Sarah Visagie, commented: “During a transition, there are always more questions than answers. However, the company appreciates your ability to stay focused and productive in spite of the inevitable uncertainty that change often presents. We look forward to rebuilding Payless with you as we enter into this new era”

Announcing the proposed acquisition by ERG on its website last year, the Competition and Consumer Authority said “the acquiring enterprise, ERG, is a limited liability company incorporated in accordance with the Laws of Botswana. ERG is a Special Purpose Vehicle being utilised to effect the proposed merger transaction. The Acquiring Enterprise is described as a private investor with focus on insurance, petroleum and Fast Moving Consumer Goods”.