Absa sells Edgars store cards to RCS

Absa has sold its stake in the Edcon store card portfolio to microlender RCS, a unit of the French group BNP Paribas Personal Finance.

No amount was mentioned in a statement released on Monday evening, but RCS said it also struck a deal with Edcon to sell its customers credit cards, store cards and personal loans. Edgars, Jet and CNA are part of the Edcon group.

Absa bought the card portfolio for R10bn in 2012, after an embattled Edcon sold it to make some money as it struggled with a large debt burden.

The group continued to bleed since then, and earlier this year a rescue plan, supported by the Public Investment Corporation, gave it a R2.7bn lifeline as landlords granted it rent reductions in exchange for stakes in the company.

“The Transaction cements RCS as the pre-eminent provider of outsourced credit solutions in the region, providing an indication to the market that BNP Paribas Personal Finance is committed to South Africa,” the company said.

The deal will be financed by cash and funding provided by Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Bank.

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