Mr Price rejects speculation of Edcon purchase

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Mr Price has rejected speculation that it has been looking to acquire retail chain Jet, a unit of struggling fashion giant, Edcon, which recently went into business rescue.

"The Group has no intention to acquire Edcon, in part or in whole," the Durban-based retailer said in a statement on SENS on Thursday.

Mr Price's "…criteria for a potential acquisition is clear, consistent and demonstrable in its capital allocation track record, which has over time been communicated extensively to shareholders," the retailer said.

Speculation of a possible acquisition was triggered after Mr Price said it was planning on raising money by issuing new shares earlier this month.

Clarifying the reason for the equity raise, the company said it was to support to fund long-term growth in anticipation of "value accretive assets at attractive valuations" becoming available in the current economic environment as well as organic growth.

Edcon has been a mainstay in South Africa's high streets and the anchor tenant of choice in malls for more than 90 years. But after numerous attempts over the years to resuscitate the company and its other brands such as Jet, it applied for voluntary business rescue at the end of April. Its inability to trade during the initial hard lockdown of the economy in response to Covid-19 provided the final push into business rescue.

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