Christopher Adams

The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

Postie Plus given South African lifeline

Photo / Michael Cunningham
Photo / Michael Cunningham

Staff at Postie Plus have been offered a conditional employment agreement by South African investment group Pepkor, according to a source.

Media reports have previously speculated that the Cape Town-based firm -- which has business interests across Africa, Poland and Australia -- was looking to acquire the New Zealand retailer, which went into administration last month.

The source, who requested anonymity, said Postie Plus staff had been offered a conditional employment offer from Pepkor.

Pepkor owns Australian fashion chain Best & Less.

Postie Plus was operating 82 stores -- employing around 650 staff -- before it went into administration.

However, the administrators, Colin McCloy and David Bridgman, of PwC, announced last month that 12 Postie Plus stores would be closed, resulting in 64 jobs losses.

At that time the administrators indicated that the remaining 70 stores would stay open, but the source said four more stores were to be closed.

Staff at outlets scheduled for closure had been offered a one week employment agreement by Pepkor to wrap up those stores' operations, the source said.

A PwC spokeswoman said the sale of Postie Plus was yet to become unconditional and more information would be announced when that happened.

She would not comment on the Pepkor employment offers or the store closures.

Companies Office records show a firm called Roan Limited, wholly owned by Pepkor South East Asia, was incorporated in New Zealand on June 18.

NZX-listed Postie Plus' board had been trying to sell the business, or attract a new cornerstone investor, before the administrators were appointed.

The company had been struggling to gain traction in the retail market and reported an annual loss of $11.6 million last year.

- NZ Herald

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