Edcon chief confirms recapitalisation drive

South African retailer Edcon confirmed to Fin24 on Sunday that it is in discussions with stakeholders, including landlords and suppliers, regarding the group’s continued recapitalisation programme.

The group includes Edgars, Jet and CNA. Sunday Times reported on Sunday that Edcon is "on the brink of collapse", putting 140 000 jobs at risk.

"Edcon’s balance sheet recovery programme has been underway for some time as we continue to focus on completing a recapitalisation of Edcon," group CEO Grant Pattison said on Sunday.

"Part of the process is the continuing discussions with various stakeholders, which include suppliers, lenders, landlords, potential new investors, and others, as we explore and discuss various options," said Pattison.

He said these discussions are in the final stages of resolution and "significant progress is being made, with all stakeholders indicating their support and strong commitment to the process".

According to Pattison, the group is very close to announcing a complete recapitalisation of the business "that should endure for the next few years".

He said there are various options being considered by all stakeholders with certain mall-owners and landlords assessing Edcon’s rent-reduction proposal.

"This, and other elements of a proposed agreement are in the final stages of resolution and no further commentary can be added at this stage," he said.

Commenting on an article in the Sunday Times on Sunday, Pattison said parts of the article, including the headline are "unfortunately speculative and misleading".

"Edcon has not 'crashed' and the group has actually seen good sales during the run-up to the festive season. Edcon had a great sales day on Saturday with sales up on last year," he said.

Fin24 reported in April Pattison as saying that Edcon had been very centralised in the past and tried to decentralise.

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