CNA sold to investment company

accreditation

The embattled Edcon Group has announced the sale of CNA to a consortium of investors led by JSE-listed Astoria Investments.

The buyout is led by Jan van Niekerk, who heads asset manager RECM and Calibre (RAC) together with Piet Viljoen. RAC took control of Mauritius-based Astoria last year.

All of the 167 CNA stores, along with the brand, will be sold as part of the transaction, which still needs to be approved by the authorities. The transaction value was not disclosed.

Edcon CEO Grant Pattison explains: “Edcon has a simple business model that is focused on delivering an enhanced customer experience, and an optimized store portfolio, ultimately creating a focus on our three divisions: Edgars, Jet, and Thank U.

“As I have always said, CNA is an important but not a strategic part of the Edcon business, as it is not focused on clothing, beauty and home categories, and we would only sell if it’s good for CNA.

“The new owners have the muscle and extensive management focus and leadership expertise to invest in the business. I am also pleased that this transaction will not result in any job losses.”.

According to a statement, the Astoria consortium intends to focus CNA on books, stationery, magazines and gifting.

"We believe that this transaction will be welcomed by staff, landlords and suppliers including publishers, both locally and internationally” said Astoria Investments.

"The ongoing process of consolidating, merging and rebranding of the businesses, will ensure an offering of a selected set of private and some international brands, while also being a fashion and beauty retailer that provides credit”.

Edcon has been staring into a financial abyss for the past couple of years. It has billions in debt, which have snowballed since American investment firm Bain Capital bought it in 2007.

Last year, the group was saved from collapse by securing a R2.7 billion lifeline - a deal struck with landlords, the Public Investment Corporation, and creditors.

The loss-making Boardmans and Red Square chains have since been shut, and a number of prominent stores – including the Edgars in Rosebank mall, and various CNA outlets – have been closed.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.58
+0.9%
Rand - Pound
19.64
+0.9%
Rand - Euro
16.68
+1.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.14
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.0%
Gold
1,853.40
+0.1%
Silver
22.10
+0.4%
Palladium
2,070.50
+2.5%
Platinum
954.00
+0.4%
Brent Crude
117.40
+2.9%
Top 40
63,883
+1.4%
All Share
70,486
+1.4%
Resource 10
76,948
+0.6%
Industrial 25
76,115
+1.3%
Financial 15
16,257
+2.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot