Shares in Poundland owner Steinhoff slump 60% over 'accounting irregularities'

Shares in Poundland owner Steinhoff slump 60% over 'accounting irregularities'

Chairman Christo Wiese will take the role of executive chairman on a temporary basis, while Pieter Erasmus - formerly chief executive of Pepkor Group, one of Steinhoff's African subsidiaries - will help Wiese in an advisory capacity. In November of that year, German authorities searched Steinhoff offices in the town of Westerstede and visited private homes as part of an investigation by prosecutors in the German town of Oldenburg (near where Steinhoff's European HQ is based) into four current and former managers.

Steinhoff International Holdings NV plunged 57% in early trade on Wednesday after the retail holding company said Chief Executive Markus Jooste had resigned with immediate effect amid an accounting probe.

Shares in Steinhoff International fell by about 60 per cent after the news was announced.

It put Christo Wiese, its largest shareholder and chairman, in charge and later sought to give "additional comfort" to investors anxious about its ability to fund its existing operations, saying it had ‍identified measures that would give it around 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of additional liquidity. 'The Company will publish the audited 2017 consolidated financial statements when it is in a position to do so.

The investigation could result in prior years' financial statements needing to be adjusted.

The company stressed that it still had profitable businesses in its portfolio and urged investors to "exercise caution" when trading its shares in the wake of the disclosures.

Evacuations ordered in Bel Air as wildfire burns near the 405 freeway
Stunned motorists found the hillside ablaze and gridlock below as fire raced towards the homes of numerous city's rich and famous. Large animals were ordered to evacuate at Hansen Dam Equestrian Center, Pierce College and the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

As well as furniture and homeware, it also sells products including clothing, footwear and consumer goods.

It bought Poundland a year ago and has introduced its Pep&Co budget clothing brand into scores of stores.

The group said in a stock exchange announcement: "Steinhoff will update the market as the aforesaid investigation proceeds".

In a statement last night the company said: "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". Omri Thomas of Abax Investments, the 15th largest investor in Steinhoff, said because there was no immediate prospect of any clarity on its results, it was hard to put a value on Steinhoff and this had prompted the severe share reaction.

It is unclear what accounting irregularities the company was referring to in its statement on Tuesday.

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