Edcon offloads 167-store CNA
SOLD: CONSORTIUM LED BY ASTORIA BUYS IT
This move is aligned to Edcon’s broader strategy of focusing on its core clothing-based business.
Unlisted retail group Edcon will offload its 167-store stationery chain CNA to a consortium led by JSE-listed Astoria Investments for an undisclosed amount.
The deal, which is subject to normal regulatory approvals, was announced by Edcon yesterday. It comes as the group continues its restructuring to turn the business around after securing a R2.7 billion recapitalisation lifeline in March last year from the Public Investment Corporation, existing lenders and several of its landlords.
Edcon, which also owns retail chains Edgars and Jet, said that the sale to the Astoria-led
consortium is aligned to Edcon’s broader strategy to focus on its core business. This includes the realignment of its retail brands and operations.
It said the transaction includes all brands and trademarks under the CNA business, which would mean the business would continue to trade under the CNA brand.
The sale of CNA does not come as a surprise as several retail analysts have mooted Edcon selling the stationery chain as it did not fit in with the retail group’s largely clothing-focused business. Calls for Edcon to dispose of its CNA unit were made again last year when the cash-strapped group secured the R2.7 billion recapitalisation lifeline.
Commenting on the deal, Edcon CEO Grant Pattison said as part of a simpler business model the group is optimising its store portfolio to focus on its three divisions: Edgars, Jet, and its Thank U customer loyalty and financial services division. “The ongoing process of consolidating, merging and rebranding of the businesses will ensure an offering of a selected set of private and some international brands, while also being a fashion and beauty retailer that provides credit,” he said.
OFF THE BOOKS. Analysts predicted that Edcon would not hold onto CNA as it restructures its businesses.Picture: