Edcon Group says it has sold stationery retailer, CNA to a consortium of investors led by JSE-listed Astoria Investments.
The sale will include all 167 CNA stores as well as all brands and trademarks, with the business continuing to trade under the CNA brand name.
The sale, Edcon said, aligns with its broader strategy to focus on its core business through the realignment of its retail brands and operations.
“Edcon has a simple business model that is focused on delivering an enhanced customer experience, and an optimized store portfolio, ultimately creating a focus on our three divisions: Edgars, Jet, and Thank U,” said Edcon chief executive Grant Pattison.
“The ongoing process of consolidating, merging and rebranding of the businesses, will ensure an offering of a selected set of private and some international brands, while also being a fashion and beauty retailer that provides credit.
“As I have always said, CNA is an important but not a strategic part of the Edcon business, as it is not focused on clothing, beauty and home categories, and we would only sell if it’s good for CNA.”
Pattison said that the new owners have ‘the muscle and extensive management focus and leadership expertise’ to invest in the business.
Astoria Investments said that it intends to focus CNA on the original building blocks of its founders, with books, stationery, magazines and gifting at its core.
The outlets will be community-focused: supporting and encouraging reading while catering for the entire stationery needs of consumers throughout South Africa.
“We believe that this transaction will be welcomed by staff, landlords and suppliers including publishers, both locally and internationally,” said Astoria Investments.