Edcon staff wait for details of purchase deal

DispatchLive reports that about 43,000 Edcon employees – including 22,000 who have already been served with notices of possible retrenchment – remain jittery as they wait to see if a potential buyer of “some” of the retail giant’s divisions will materialise. On Monday, about 1,000 affected people, including employees, landlords, suppliers and other creditors, took part in a virtual hearing at which a business rescue plan was presented and approved. The meeting went ahead after Pretoria high court judge Selewe Mothle refused to hear an application by two unsecured creditors, Kingsgate Clothing and Clematis Trading, who were seeking to stop it.

They said the business rescue practitioners (BRP) were “steamrolling” the plan, which proposed they would only get four cents in the rand for the R42.5m they were collectively owed. Addressing the meeting, BRP Piers Marsden repeatedly declined to disclose details of the “retailers” who were interested in purchasing Edgars, Jet and Edcon’s financial services divisions. He said this would “contaminate the process” and could affect the markets. If approved, he said the rescue plan envisaged a sale, or sales, in July, and a “winding down” of any divisions not bought after August.

by Tania Broughton