Competition Commission approves sale of John Craig to Blue Falcon

The green light will save around 422 jobs despite the closure of John Craig’s non-performing stores.

Blue Falcon will acquire certain portions and assets of the John Craig business, which is a division of Pepkor Speciality. The transaction is taking place against the backdrop of various John Craig store closures and staff retrenchments due to financial difficulties.

Blue Falcon is the owner of Studio 88, which is southern Africa’s largest branded fashion clothing and footwear retailer. They have approximately 270 stores across South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia and Mozambique.

Established in 1947, John Craig is a menswear retailer which is a division of Pepkor Speciality and mainly sells smart and formal men’s clothing, including trousers, smart shoes, coats and suits. It is also the largest retail stockist of the Polo brand in South Africa.

Regarding the merger conditions, both Blue Falcon and Pepkor Speciality are to give preference to qualified John Craig employees who lost their jobs as a result of store closures, when new vacancies become available. The two businesses will also be required to provide the Competition Commission with detailed annual reports for a period of two years concerning their compliance with the conditions.