Bain could release equity in S.Africa's Edcon as part of debt deal


Buyout firm Bain Capital could let go of as much as 30 per cent of its equity in Edcon as part of the South African retail group’s debt restructuring.

More than 95 percent of the holders of Edcon’s 2019 notes have accepted an exchange offer that will convert 425 million euros ($469.71 million) of debt into more senior debt at a heavy discount, Edcon said on Wednesday.

The deal would see Edcon’s annual net cash interest payment obligations decrease by more than 72 million euros, the company added.


The operator of clothing retailers Edgars and Jet, stationer CNA and homeware store Boardmans suspended a coupon payment last month and offered the bondholders a choice of exchanging every claim of 1,000 euros for 400 euros of more secure debt or to have it converted to a combination of equity and debt.

If all the 2019 noteholders choose the latter it could mean that Bain releases as much as 30 percent of the company it bought in 2007, diluting its stake to about 55 percent.

Edcon would not say how many noteholders have chosen to take equity as part of the deal, but it said an announcement will be made at the end of July.

The retail group has suffered a drop in credit sales as consumers in Africa’s most advanced economy have tightened their belts in the face of rapidly rising electricity costs and the first interest rate increases this decade, scuppering plans to re-list Edcon on the Johannesberg Stock Exchange.