ibusinesslines.com February 19, 2018

Steinhoff CEO resigns, company says accounting irregularities to be investigated

06 December 2017, 01:56 | Kelvin Horton

Shares in Poundland's owner slashed by more than 66 per cent as CEO quits amid accounting probe

Poundland Parent Steinhoff Announces Investigation Into Accounting Irregularities

Steinhoff also announced an investigation into accounting irregularities, with its board approaching PwC for an independent investigation.

Its European operation expanded previous year to include United Kingdom discount retailer Poundland.

Shares in Steinhoff, Poundland's South Africa-listed owner, have plummeted this morning as its chief executive quit amid news of an accounting probe.

Steinhoff's share price fell by more than 50% by midday on Wednesday, dropping to about R19 from its Tuesday close of R45.65. It warned it might have to restate financial statements from prior years.

Group CEO Markus Jooste also resigned with immediate effect.

Steinhoff International's Supervisory Board has appointed chairman Christo Wiese as executive chairman on a temporary basis, while Pieter Erasmus, the former CEO of Pepkor Group, has joined Wiese in an executive advisory capacity "to assist with managing the group's various retail interests around the world", the company noted.

The group's brands include Bensons for Beds and Harveys in the UK, Conforama in Europe, Pep and Ackermans in South Africa and Snooze in Australia.

"The supervisory board of Steinhoff wishes to advise shareholders that new information has come to light today which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation", the statement said.

Shares in the South Africa-based company - predominantly a furniture retailer with operations in 30 countries - tumbled 59% when the Frankfurt stock exchange opened for business on Wednesday. The group has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by the state prosecutor in Oldenburg in Germany since the same year.

It is not now clear what "accounting irregularities" the company is referring to in its statement.

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