Steinhoff International announces probe of 'accounting irregularities'

Steinhoff shares plunge 60% after CEO quits

Steinhoff International, Europe's second-largest furniture retailer by sales said it had launched an investigation into accounting irregularities and that its chief executive had resigned on Tuesday.

In addition to purchases like the UK's Bensons for Beds, the company has made plays for appliance chain Darty in France and household-goods retailer Argos in Britain.

The JSE says it's been talking to Steinhoff to find out the exact allegations against the global company after the furniture retailer shares plummeted.

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

"Steinhoff will update the market as the aforesaid investigation proceeds, ' the company said in a statement".

PSG Financial Services advised shareholders on Wednesday that its board of directors received and accepted the resignation of Jooste as a non-executive director of PSG Group and PSG Financial Services, with immediate effect.

Jooste's sudden resignation marks the end of his 30 years with the business.


Steinhoff nearly merged with Shoprite earlier this year which would have formed Africa's largest retailer but the plans were scrapped in February.

Steinhoff shares traded 64% lower at €1.08 as of 16:02 in Frankfurt.

The dramatic sell-off was triggered by the announcement that chief executive Markus Jooste had resigned and "accounting irregularities requiring further investigation" had been uncovered.

It is being reported Steinhoff did not tell investors about transactions amounting to almost $1 billion (R13,5-billion).

Earlier this year, Steinhoff acquired a majority stake in mattress producer Sherwood Bedding, a family-owned company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

It said it would also investigate whether previous financial results need to be corrected. The release of Steinhoff's 2017 results was postponed until the probe is over.

Steinhoff International debt also plunged, with €800m of senior unsecured bonds due in 2025 falling as much as 41 cents on the euro, to 42 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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