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Edcon’s administrators extended a deadline for offers for the three main divisions of South Africa’s second-largest clothes retailer, whose sales suffered from pandemic restrictions.

Binding offers are now expected in early July. Tuesday was the initial deadline after administrators for the owner of the Edgars and Jet chains put the two retailers up for sale earlier this month, aiming to save some of the company’s more than 22 000 permanent and casual jobs.

The shift in date “is to be expected in a complex business-rescue process such as this,” the administrators said in a statement. They declined to comment on the details due to confidentiality agreements.

Edcon is in a local form of bankruptcy protection after various lockdown to contain the coronavirus in South Africa dried up sources of revenue. The business-rescue team received 15 expressions of interest in parts of the Johannesburg-based business.

Still, the company started talks with all employees about job cuts earlier this month, a step seen as prudent in the absence of any binding offers at that stage. Thank U, a loyalty-card plan with 14 million members, is also up for sale.

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