In the news

Most Read

  • Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko to step down
    Telkom has announced that its CEO and executive director Sipho Maseko will step down on 30 June 2022. The telecoms company said the process to appoint a successor is well underway and a designated group CEO will be announced in the not too distant future.
  • How cooking oil brought a moment of joy during a dreadful week
    It is possible that cooking oil prevented more looting in South Africa in the last week than the president, the ANC, the intelligence community, the army and the police combined. This, without question, says something about the versatility of the product. It says even more about the state of the state. When you are shown up by canola, you might want to revisit your strategy. By Howard Feldman
  • Park Advertising launches digital performance unit, Lucid Media
    Performance Media across Search, Social and Programmatic platforms is the single fastest growing area of digital media in South Africa. Combine that with the detailed analysis of campaign management, tagging and ad operations, and it becomes apparent that these highly specialist functions require a highly specialised unit.
  • Transnet hit by cyberattack - Operations disrupted nationwide
    The Transnet Port Terminals website has been hacked, implying that all companies under Transnet have been affected. All Transnet websites were down at the time when reporting was done for this SA Trucker article. The publication cited sources who requested to remain anonymous because they are not allowed to speak to the media.
  • #BehindtheBrandManager: Meet Tamsin Darroch of Kellogg's South Africa
    Few food brands have the historical connection with consumers around the world as Kellogg's does, having held meaning at the breakfast table for over a century. By Lauren Hartzenberg
  • Business unusual for small enterprises on the road to recovery
    The Covid-19 pandemic has hit South Africa's small business sector hard and there are grim statistics to bear this out. Those statistics will not be repeated here. After all, if you are a small business owner setting out on the road to recovery, the last thing you probably want is more details of the toll the pandemic has taken on small enterprises. Far more useful would be some good, solid tips on how to build back better after any business setbacks. By Ameen Hassen
Show more
Advertise on Bizcommunity

Subscribe to industry newsletters

Century-old CNA enters business rescue

CNA, South Africa's 125-year-old books and stationery retailer, has been placed into business rescue, its management team confirmed on Monday.

The retailer has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and the devastating effect it's had on sales, and CNA has failed to pay some of its landlords and suppliers in recent months, Business Day reports. For many years, the chain has also faced mounting competition from other retailers operating in the same space as CNA's core categories.

CNA has a footprint of approximately 163 stores in South Africa and a few others in Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Company in-fighting

In addition to its financial woes, the retailer has been embroiled in controversy over the last few weeks.

Early last year, CNA's former owner Edcon sold the majority 70% stake in CNA to JSE-listed Astoria Investments, with Exclusive Books' former CEO Benjamin Trisk also taking a 30% stake. Last month, CNA's key shareholder Astoria sold its 70% stake in the company to three CNA directors for R1.2m – the amount Astoria initially paid for the stake.

Business Day reported last week that Trisk, who still holds 30% of the company, intends to approach the courts to have Astoria’s sale of the 70% to the other directors be declared unlawful, and he wants to be declared the sole owner instead.

Fin24 also reported that the CNA directors accused Trisk of contacting business rescue practitioners without their consent, a claim Trisk dismissed at the time as "complete rubbish", adding that the board discussed business rescue during a meeting on 30 March.

In response, CNA director Rob Shortt said Trisk himself is talking "complete rubbish". "He didn’t consult us," Shortt told Fin24. Shortt said Trisk submitted documents that claimed that the board agreed to business rescue during a meeting on 11 May. But Shortt says this is false.

Trisk said consulting business rescue practitioners was "absolutely the right [thing] to do" to protect creditors and jobs.

Trisk's alleged resignation

A dispute around Trisk's role as CEO has also been playing out. Shortt confirmed to Fin24 in May that the board accepted Trisk’s resignation as CEO, which Trisk apparently tendered in April. His last day at the company was on 19 May, Shortt said.

But this was then denied by Trisk, who said that he’s still CEO and that there "was no resignation letter" or demand for compensation for his exit. Trisk said that his "vision for the company to be a success remains intact".

Responding to Trisk's denial that he had resigned, Shortt said, "We stand by our statement. Benjamin has resigned and we have accepted his resignation. If he feels that our view is incorrect, he must take the matter to another forum, be it the CCMA or the Labour Court. The directors remain committed to the welfare of the business."

Let's do Biz