Edcon has secured a deal in principle to recapitalise the business, averting the possible sell-off of the retailer's brands or closure of the country's largest non-food retailer. This would be a huge relief for the thousands who are employed by the company, supply it or buy from it. The group, which is nearly 90 years old, has 27,000 permanent employees. With seasonal or casual staff this increases to about 40,000. The deal was not yet binding and still needed to be implemented, said CEO Grant Pattison, but the nonbinding expressions of interest were reached in the last week of December. "Everyone has agreed to the basic terms. Now it's about putting in place the detailed clauses of the final agreement." Previous reports said the deal included Edcon's landlords being asked to take a significant reduction in the rentals from Edcon, in exchange for a small stake in the company. A letter to this effect was leaked to the Sunday Times at the end of last year. Pattison said this was specu...

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