While you were sleeping, the stock and bonds of a relatively unknown company in the US, but is a household name in much of the rest of the world, Steinhoff International Holdings NV, plunged after its chief executive officer resigned amid accounting irregularities, with the company announcing that it was indefinitely delaying the release of its results, citing a criminal and tax investigation in Germany that dates back to 2015, rocking a company that’s rapidly expanded from its roots in South Africa into a retail empire spanning Australia, Europe and the U.S.
As Bloomberg reported, the owner of the France-based Conforama furniture chain, Mattress Firm in the U.S. and Poundland in the U.K. and which employs 130,000 people worldwide, said late Tuesday that CEO Markus Jooste quit as it appointed auditor PwC to probe the matter. Prosecutors have said they’re looking into contracts valued in triple-digit millions of euros that appeared to have been conducted with third parties but may have actually involved different units within the company. The company said in August that “no evidence exists” that Steinhoff broke Germany’s commercial laws. It also said a report in Manager-Magazin that Jooste is among employees being investigated by German prosecutors contained information that was “wrong or misleading.”
Events - Acquiror - Bloomberg - Retailers - Steinhoff
Snarkily summarizing the scandalous events involving the aggressive acquiror, Bloomberg said "Retailers Can Forget About Being Bought by Steinhoff Now."
While the back story behind this sprawling scandal - much of which has to do with South Africa's culture of corporate corruption - and the company's sudden implosion is fascinating...
Findings - Striking - Turnabout - Billionaire - Chairman
The findings mark a striking turnabout for billionaire Chairman Christo Wiese, South Africa’s fourth-richest man and Steinhoff’s biggest shareholder, who’s taking over the CEO role on an interim basis. Since he bought into the company in 2014, he’s accelerated an acquisition drive alongside long-term ally Jooste. In...
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