Edcon’s R2.7bn recapitalisation is probably the last roll of the dice for the retailer. But it’s also an extraordinary collective rescue effort. Business Day asked Edcon CEO Grant Pattison, who held all the cards? This deal had everyone on the same side, right from the word go. What was everyone united about? No-one wanted 30,000 jobs to go and the decimation of our supply chain. It was about working out who had the most to lose. The banks were going to lose their entire investment, and half of them were South African banks … the landlords were big time exposed, because we’ve probably got, at any one time, R5bn of lease commitments. It was on a scale I think few people were prepared to take a chance … We needed to attract new capital and there was no ways the banks would have done it without someone else coming in. Was that always going to be the Public Investment Corporation? Well we started off with the PIC not really thinking much about where they would get the money from, and th...

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