These days nothing snuffs out investor sentiment quite like a balance sheet sagging under a burden of debt.

Brait, once the darling of the JSE’s investment companies, is labouring under a debt load that is blocking efforts to restore market faith after the ill-timed foray into the UK fashion retail sector via New Look. At the end of June, IM calculates Brait’s total net debt at around R11.5bn — roughly R2bn more than the group’s market capitalisation at the time of writing in mid-July.

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