South Africa’s Edcon secures repayment deal on debt of 7.9 bil rand

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Bain Capital’s Edcon, a South African retailer, said on Monday it had secured a repayment deal on debt of 7.9 billion rand ($548 million) and access 1.85 billion rand to pay down some bonds.

The company, which is the biggest fashion retailer in Africa’s most advanced economy, completed a distressed exchange offer in July and has since issued new bonds to restructure its debt.

“The deal represents a strong statement of support from Edcon Group’s existing South African and international lenders under its revolving and term loan facilities, as well as new lenders into the capital structure,” Edcon said in a statement.

The company has also secured new commitments for a facility of 1.85 billion rand which it will use to pay down 1.0 billion rand in secured notes due in 2016 and to settle a 1.0 billion rand liquidity facility from Goldman Sachs, chief financial officer Toon Clerckx told Reuters.

Taken private by Bain in 2007 in a highly leveraged buy-out, Edcon has lost market share to other retailers as it struggled to pay its debts in a slowing economy.

Before refinancing its debt, it said it was considering selling non-core assets, but on Monday poured cold water on the idea. “There is no need to sell, you go to the market when you get the price you want or you trade your way out of it,” Clerckx said.

Most of South Africa’s largest banks hold part of the 7.9 billion rand in debt Edcon has now refinanced, he said.

Edcon said in July debt that restructuring attempts would decrease its interest payment obligations by more than 1 billion rand a year.

The retailer said on Monday its refinancing efforts of this year will lower its debt by around 4.5 billion rand.

The operator of clothing retailers Edgars and Jet, stationer CNA and homeware store Boardmans also said it had finished the final stage of the exchange offer lanched in June for a 2019 bond.

($1 = 14.4205 rand)

 

(Reporting by Zandi Shabalala and TJ Strydom; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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