The R2.7bn deal that clothing retailer Edcon reached with its banks, landlords and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) on Friday will free it up to push through with its survival plan, says CEO Grant Pattison. The deal, which will free it of all interest-bearing debt, marked a second refinancing deal in two years for the owner of Edgars, Jet and CNA chains that has been battered by competition from global brands that entered SA in recent years. The company employs about 40,000 people, 14,000 of whom are full-time. Competitiveness With that out of the way, it could now move on and seek to improve its competitiveness, Pattison said. "We can now focus on fixing the business," Pattison, a former CEO of Massmart who was brought in to turn around the ailing retailer a year ago, said in an interview. Private equity company Bain Capital, which acquired Edcon in 2007, just before the outbreak of the global financial crisis, ceded control of the company to its creditors three years ago. T...

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