Sleepy's Owner Steinhoff Shares Tank After It Flags a Suspected Accounting Fraud

Marco Green
December 6, 2017

This came after Steinhoff International CEO Marcus Jooste announced his resignation on Tuesday night, causing an indefinite delay in the release of Steinhoff Holding's full-year results, which were scheduled for release on Wednesday.

Shares in Steinhoff, which is listed in the Netherlands, plummeted nearly 60 per cent in early trading.

The company said that Dr. Wiese and the board would supplement the management team and embark on a detailed review of the business, with a view to maximizing shareholder value.

Shares in the firm, which owns 40 local brands in more than 30 countries, later recovered to 22 rand, still down 52%. As well as Poundland, it owns Benson for Beds, Harveys Furniture and Pep&Co in the UK. Steinhoff derives about 60% of its earnings in Europe and 34% in Africa.

The company's Supervisory Board, in consultation with the statutory auditors of the Company, has approached PWC to perform an independent investigation on the matter, while Markus Jooste, CEO of Steinhoff, has resigned from the company.

Billionaire Christo Wiese, Steinhoff's largest shareholder and chairman, will take over in an executive capacity on an interim basis, the group said Tuesday.

Outgoing CEO Jooste had been at the helm of Steinhoff for almost 20 years and oversaw its expansion from a furniture manufacturer in South Africa to one of the largest household goods retailers in the world.

While the nature of its accounting investigation was not disclosed, it had already been known that it was facing a tax probe in Germany.

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

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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