Poundland Parent Steinhoff Announces Investigation Into Accounting Irregularities
Dec 07 2017
Steinhoff said Wiese would "embark on a detailed review of all aspects of the company's business with a view to maximising shareholder value", but its South African shares had slumped 61 percent to close at 15.87 rand, after hitting an eight-year low of 13.50 rand in earlier trading.
"We're going to have to look very, very carefully and what comes out of the investigation and obviously, we are very keen to get information into the market as soon as possible".
The company has also postponed its full year results as it calls in accountants from PwC to launch an independent probe into the accounting irregularities.
But in its announcement on Tuesday, it said: "The Supervisory Board wishes to reassure shareholders that Steinhoff has a number of high quality profitable businesses around the world".
Jooste had tendered his resignation with immediate effect, and the board had accepted it, Tuesday night's statement said.
Jooste has been replaced by the chairman Christo Wiese, who will work as executive chairman on an interim basis. The company had been expected to release its results for the year ended September 30 on Wednesday, but said it would now publish results when it was in a position to do so.
Steinhoff's African businesses include a range of credit-based household goods retailers and the company also has extensive interests in Europe. Steinhoff had been due to release its fiscal 2017 earnings report on Wednesday, but said the results will come out when it is "in a position to do so".
While the company has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by a state prosecutor in Germany since 2015, it is not clear if these are the accounting irregularities the company was referring to in its statement.
The Financial Times reported that South African audit watchdog Irba said it was watching the Steinhoff developments closely.
The group's share price has fallen 18.2% from Friday's closing price of R55.81 to R45.65 on Tuesday after warning shareholders on Monday its results would not be signed by its current auditors.
But Deloitte declined to comment, citing client confidentiality obligations.