South Africa's Edcon Reaches Deal to Recapitalize, Times Says

(Bloomberg) -- Edcon Holdings Ltd., a debt-laden South African retail giant, reached a non-binding agreement with unidentified investors to recapitalize and avoid selling some of its businesses, the Sunday Times reports, citing Chief Executive Grant Pattison.

Basic terms have been agreed and the company is putting in place “detailed clauses of the final agreement,” Pattison said, according to the Johannesburg-based newspaper.

The 89-year-old company has about 21,000 employees in a country where more than one in four people don’t have jobs. Edcon, with more than 1,100 stores across southern Africa, has struggled amid weak consumer spending and slower economic growth in South Africa. It was taken over by banks and bondholders in 2016 to avoid failing.

Edcon’s net third-party debt climbed 67 percent to 7 billion rand ($445 million) at the end of June, from 4.2 billion rand a year earlier, as the currency weakened against the euro and interest charges increased after converting some of its debt, it says on its website.

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