Edcon recapitalisation process on course - CEO

The recapitalisation process of the country’s largest clothing retailer, Edcon is moving forward at a normal pace, Chief Executive Grant Pattison said on Thursday.

Without disclosing too much about the process to secure as much as R3bn needed to save the company, Pattison told journalists that the approval process for recapitilasation was still underway.

“The approval process is moving forward as one would expect……I am still very encouraged,” said Pattison.

“There is no reason to believe anything will move off track at the moment.”

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The Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages the pensions of public servants is said to be likely to provide R1.8bn to rescue the company, according a report by Bloomberg. Speaking at an event to announce the refurbishment of the group’ s iconic Edgars shop in central Johannesburg, Pattison said he was coming out of a meeting with investors in Pretoria.

The shop on the corner of Pritchard and Joubert Streets in the CBD will be renovated by landlord SA Corporate Real Estate in a project said to cost about R86m.

The Johannesburg city centre is where the story of Edcon began, 90 years ago, with the first Edgars store opening on 6 September 1929 in Joubert Street.

“No job losses will occur as a result of the store’s temporary closure and all affected Edgars employees will be accommodated at other Edcon stores for the duration of the construction,” said Pattison in a statement. The giant retailer which employs more than 21 000 permanent staff and sources some of its merchandise from local factories has been on a massive restructuring path in recent months, as part of a process of becoming a leaner and more profitable business. 

Several shops, particularly smaller operations have shut down, and other standalone stores incorporated into Edgars.

The Johannesburg construction expected to begin in March and completed by April 2020.The project which is supported by The City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba fits his urban renewal project which he has been championing since assuming office in 2016.


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