Steinhoff shares plunge 60% as Jooste quits over alleged accounting irregularities

Steinhoff shares plunge 60% as Jooste quits over alleged accounting irregularities

Steinhoff shares plunge 60% as Jooste quits over alleged accounting irregularities

The news prompted its shares to plunge to an eight-year low of 15.87 rand (87p) on the Johannesburg securities exchange, wiping 60 per cent of the company's value.

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.

"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".

Steinhoff said its chairman and largest shareholder Christo Wiese would take temporary charge while a successor to Jooste was found.

"The supervisory board, in consultation with the statutory auditors of the company, has approached PwC to perform an independent investigation". The company later said its chief financial officer remained in his position and there was no evidence to suggest he had any involvement in the matters being investigated.

Kepler Cheuvreux said the pending tax and accounting investigations "could show severe irregularities".

Steinhoff is a global giant with annual sales of more than €18 billion (and well over €1 billion in Australia).

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. Steinhoff stock closed down 63 percent in Frankfurt, while its bonds also sold off sharply.

Steinhoff was due to publish financial results on Wednesday, however that has been postponed because of accounting irregularities.

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

"He will be replaced by his alternate director, Mr Theodore de Klerk, who has been appointed as a non-executive director to the boards of PSG Group and PSG Financial Services with immediate effect", it said.

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