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August 8, 2014

BNP Paribas acquires retail-card JV of TFG and Standard Bank

French banking giant BNP Paribas has completed the acquisition of RCS, the private label retail-card joint venture of The Foschini Group (TFG) and Standard Bank.

By Verdict Staff

French banking giant BNP Paribas has completed the acquisition of RCS, the private label retail-card joint venture of The Foschini Group (TFG) and Standard Bank.

RCS has more than one million cardholders and serves a network of more than 18,000 retail outlets in South Africa. TFG, which established RCS in 1999, offloaded 45% stake to Standard Bank in 2006.

TFG will pocket approximately ZAR1.45bn ($135bn) for its 55% stake, while Standard Bank will receive the balance for its 45% stake, reports bdlive.co.za.

RCS, which has a total loan book of nearly ZAR5 billion, is expected to be part of BNP Paribas Personal Finance.

"RCS is only marginally exposed to personal loans as 75% of its turnover is driven by credit cards, which appeal to upper customer segments," BNP Paribas was quoted by bdlive.co.za as saying.

TFG CEO Doug Murray said: "RCS started to cloud what our balance sheet looked like. It sucks a lot of capital. People were starting to think we were a financial institution and not a retailer.

"We saw the opportunity to start it because we have expertise in lending and it has proved to be a success, but at the end of the day that business has to grow. It was noncore to us and at some stage we had to move it on," Murray added.

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