March 1, 2019 / 2:13 PM / 6 months ago

South African retailer Edcon gets $191 mln in new cash, lower rent

JOHANNESBURG, March 1 (Reuters) - South African department store chain Edcon said on Friday it has secured 2.7 billion rand ($191 million) in new cash and rent deductions from its secured lenders, government pension fund and landlords as part of a recapitalisation programme.

Edcon has been grappling with its debts for several years, after troubles in its credit business in 2014 coincided with an economic slowdown and weak consumer spending.

In January, Edcon’s chief executive Grant Pattison said it needed 3 billion rand ($226 million) in financing over the next three years to allow it time to “fix” its business.

Edcon which vies for market share with TFG, Truworths and international chains such as Zara and H&M, is one the biggest names in South African retail, employing more than 14,000 full-time staff in over 1,100 stores.

It has been in talks with lenders and other investors about injecting money, while asking landlords to reduce rents. ($1 = 14.1512 rand) (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla Editing by Alexander Smith)

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