JD Group: Rights offer to aid balance sheet

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Furniture retailer JD Group priced its $240 million (R2.5 billion) rights offer at its current share price on Friday, to shore up its balance sheet after a spike in bad debts. Under the offer underwritten by controlling shareholder Steinhoff, JD Group would sell 99.3 million shares, or 30 percent of the company, at R25 each to raise R2.48 billion. Shareholders would get 44 new rights offer shares for every 100 held, JD Group said. Shares in the struggling company hardly moved on the news before closing 1.2 percent lower at R24.70 at 5pm on the JSE. Steinhoff, which built up its stake to 86 percent from 57 percent in recent weeks by offering its own shares exchange for those in JD Group, could end up owning all of the credit-based retailer and potentially delist it. Steinhoff has said it would provide quick and much-needed financial support to the firm, which is saddled with bad debts because of cash-strapped consumers failing to make payments. It also said chief executive David Sussman would retire and Peter Griffiths would take over from today. – Reuters

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