JSE launches an investigation into Steinhoff “financial irregularities”

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jse to investigate stienhoff international
jse to investigate stienhoff international

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) had launched an investigation into the Steinhoff International following reports of “accounting irregularities” in its accounts that led to the company share  drop by over 65%.

JSE launched an investigation on Monday into whether Steinhoff broke disclosure rules, heaping pressure on the retailer as it tries to contain an accounting scandal.

Shares in Steinhoff fell by 80 percent last week after the international retail group, whose brands include Poundland and Mattress Firm, disclosed “accounting irregularities” and parted ways with veteran chief executive Markus Jooste.

The JSE said in a statement it was investigating whether there had been any breaches of its listing requirements, adding this included “any breaches in relation to previous financial disclosures made to the public by Steinhoff International”.

Steinhoff said chief executive Markus Jooste, who oversaw its expansion to one of the world’s largest household goods retailers over nearly 20 years, had resigned and PwC would undertake an “independent investigation”.

The Company put its largest shareholder and chairman Christo Wiese (The Owner of Shoprite),  in charge for the interim period.

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.

Steinhoff has been aggressively expanding in developed markets since moving its primary share listing from Johannesburg to Frankfurt in 2015.

It said Wiese would “embark on a detailed review of all aspects of the company’s business with a view to maximising shareholder value.

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.

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