Edcon officially belongs to its creditors with effect from February 1, after it convinced senior lenders to accept a shareholding in the company, restructured its debt and made changes to the structure. Edcon’s major shareholder grouping now comprises banking and investment firms that include many South African institutions such as FirstRand. Edcon CEO Bernie Brookes said an internal restructuring that would ensure improved profitability and future growth was under way. He said: "We are already seeing benefits at store level, in technological improvements, customer care and ensuring that our employees are better informed, trained and remunerated. We expect these and certain other initiatives to be rolled out for the next year, before we start seeing anticipated and meaningful benefits." An Edcon representative said it was estimated the meaningful benefits of the new owners’ initiatives would bear fruit in about a year to 18 months. "There are numerous activities under way, which are...

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