Grant Pattison. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Grant Pattison. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Edcon Holdings is making progress toward securing R3bn in funding to keep the South African clothing retailer afloat, with the Public Investment Corporation part of the ongoing talks.

“The approval process is moving forward,” CEO Grant Pattison told reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday. There was “no reason to believe anything is moving off track”.

The PIC, Africa’s biggest money manager, may provide R1.8bn to assist the company, people familiar with the matter said last week.

The owner of brands such as Edgars and Jet employs about 21,000 employees in a country where more than one in four people don’t have jobs, and is struggling with a depressed consumer environment and the fallout of a debt-fuelled takeover in 2007. Banks and bondholders took control in 2016 to avoid the retailer failing.

Edcon is closing stores and reducing floor space while the talks progress, Pattison said. The R3bn will give the company three years of breathing space and help it achieve a profitability goal in the third of those, he said.