Johannesburg and London-listed private and investment bank, Investec, on Wednesday said its R100 million ($10 million) exposure to Ellerine, the furniture retailer formerly-owned by the collapsed South African provider of unsecured loans, African Bank Investments Limited (ABIL), was certain.

Ellerine owed Investec, which is South Africa’s fifth biggest JSE-listed bank, about R100 million, Reuters quoted Investec spokesperson, Ursula Nobrega, as having said.

Shortly before it failed in August this year, ABIL hived off its struggling Ellerine unit, which is now undergoing restructuring, according to Reuters.

Last week, Lewis Stores, said it had submitted an offer to acquire high-end furniture retailer, Beares, from Ellerines. Lewis said business rescue practitioners, acting on behalf of Ellerines, had accepted the offer and agreed to negotiate with Lewis on an exclusive basis with a view to concluding a binding sale.

The purchase price has been determined with reference to the value of intellectual property, fixed assets and stock. The companies did not disclose the purchase price.

Johan Enslin, CEO of Lewis Group, said the rationale for this acquisition is that Beares is a strong and well-established brand across South Africa with a history dating back 80 years.

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