Bain’s Edcon Names Retail Veteran Bernard Brookes as Chief

Edcon Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s biggest clothing retailer, named a department-store veteran with three decades of experience to replace outgoing Chief Executive Officer Jurgen Schreiber.

Bernie Brookes, former CEO of Melbourne-based department store Myer Holdings Ltd., will start from Sept. 30, Edcon said in a statement on Thursday. The executive’s career in retail spans more than 35 years, with the first 24 at Woolworths Ltd. of Australia.

“He has significant experience not only in apparel retailing in the southern hemisphere, but also specifically department stores and emerging markets,” Edcon Chairman Dwight Poler said in the statement.

Unprofitable Edcon last month asked holders of the company’s 425 million euros ($466 million) of 2019 bonds to take a loss on their investment as the retailer seeks to shore up its finances. The company, which operates fashion chains including Edgars and Jet, posted retail-sales growth that slowed to 2 percent in the 52 weeks ended March 28 from 5.1 percent a year earlier.

Brookes was born in 1959 in Birmingham, England, and spent most of his life in Australia. He led Myer’s private-equity buyout when it was part of the Coles Myer Group. Then in 2009, Myer held an initial public offering that raised more than A$2.1 billion ($1.5 billion).

Schreiber, who joins Canada’s Katz Group Inc.’s Rexall Health, steps down as Edcon CEO on Aug. 15, the retailer said previously. The board has appointed Urin Ferndale and Roanne Daniels as joint interim CEOs. Schreiber remains on Edcon’s board in a new vice-chairman role.

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