Edcon Holdings Pty. skipped interest payments this week on secured notes in euros and dollars with a combined value of about $945 million as it seeks to restructure the debt.
The largest South African clothing retailer failed to pay about $45 million due on March 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It has 30 days to make the payments without triggering a default, according to bond documents.
“We elected to utilize the benefits of the agreed grace period for the coupon payment as talks with lenders, bondholders and their representatives were already underway,” a spokesman for the company wrote in an e-mail. “Conversations with these key stakeholders continue. We remain focused on optimizing the capital structure to support long-term growth.”
A group of the 2018 secured bondholders hired adviser PJT Partners Inc. and law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges to help negotiate with the company and is seeking to enlist other investors, PJT said in a statement on Thursday. Junior Edcon creditors agreed to take losses last year as the company struggled to meet debt commitments due to a weaker rand and slower sales. The retailer was loaded with foreign-currency debt through a 2007 acquisition by Bain Capital Partners.
A spokeswoman for Bain declined to comment on the missed payment.
Edcon’s 300 million-euro bonds due March 2018 dropped as much as 12 cents on the euro on Friday to 26 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.