Today's Labour News

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edconBusiness Times reports that Edcon has secured a deal in principle to recapitalise the business, averting the possible sell-off of the retailer's brands or closure of the country's largest non-food retailer.  

This will be a huge relief for the thousands who are employed by the company, supply it or buy from it.  The group has 27,000 permanent employees.  With seasonal and casual staff, this increases to about 40,000.  CEO Grant Pattison said that the deal was not yet binding and still needed to be implemented, but nonbinding expressions of interest were reached in the last week of December.  “Now it's about putting in place the detailed clauses of the final agreement," he indicated.  Previous reports said the deal included Edcon's landlords being asked to take a significant reduction in the rentals from Edcon, in exchange for a small stake in the company.  There are likely to be about 250 shareholders in the recapitalised business after the deal has been implemented.  It is not yet clear if the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) will be a shareholder.  Hurdles still exist in the form of regulatory approvals in the various jurisdictions in which the company operates.  "I'm feeling positive," Pattison said - for the first time since taking over at Edcon.

  • Read Adele Shevel’s report on this story in full at BusinessLive (paywall access only)

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