South African retailer Mr Price has no plans to buy Edcon

JOHANNESBURG, May 28 (Reuters) – Budget retailer Mr Price is not looking to buy department chain operator Edcon “in part or in whole”, the company said on Thursday, responding to market speculation.

Last week, Mr Price said it wanted to raise capital via a share issue at an appropriate time and could use the proceeds for growth opportunities. 

This prompted speculation that Mr Price, which also sells homeware and sportswear, was pursuing budget clothing retail chain Jet, owned by Edcon. 

“The company wishes to address this speculation and advises that the group has no intention to acquire Edcon, in part or in whole,” Mr Price said on Thursday.

Mr Price said last week that a capital raising would enable the company to pursue and accelerate growth opportunities “whether they are organic or acquisitive in nature.” 

Debt-laden Edcon, which also owns department store chain Edgars, entered a form of bankruptcy protection in April after coronavirus lockdown restrictions hammered its sales and left it without money to pay its suppliers. 

Administrators in charge of Edcon told creditors in a presentation last week that significant interest has been expressed by various parties to acquire or take over various parts of Edcon. (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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