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Steinhoff shares plunge by 62% after CEO quits
06 December 2017, 01:54 | Cesar Cruz
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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.
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 bought the Willenhall-based chain of discount stores for £610 million past year.
Steinhoff has delayed the publication of its 2017 financial results indefinitely as it investigates what it terms "accounting irregularities".
It added: "We are wondering if the investigations may not also be extended to the chairman of the supervisory board Christo Wiese, as he has been closely related to various deals and as the board chairman has to fulfil certain supervisory duties".
After initially falling 60 per cent to a seven year low, the shares in Steinhoff, which owns 40 local brands in more than 30 countries, later recovered but were still down 52%. It warned it might have to restate financial statements from prior years.
Mr Jooste had been in charge for close to two decades and oversaw Steinhoff's expansion from a furniture manufacturer in South Africa to one of the biggest global household goods retailers.
The company said (http://www.steinhoffinternational.com/downloads/2017/Announcement%205%20Dec%202017%20JSE.pdf) "new information has come to light today which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation".
The Steinhoff holding company is based in Amsterdam for tax reasons and has its primary listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange.
It is not now clear what "accounting irregularities" the company is referring to in its statement.
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