Steinhoff restructure: No guarantee Christo Wiese will get Pepkor back

Cape Town – A possible restructuring of crisis-hot retailer Steinhoff [JSE: SNH] would not necessarily guarantee that Christo Wiese could pry his retail chain Pepkor back from under the Steinhoff umbrella. 

Wiese spoke to Fin24 by phone on Friday, a day after his Titan Group of companies announced they were suing Steinhoff for R59bn

Titan has instituted two claims against Steinhoff for agreements made in 2015 and 2016. The first relates to the acquisition of Wiese's Pepkor Limited by Steinhoff in 2015.

The second relates to over R24bn in capital the Titan Group injected into Steinhoff in 2016, so that the retailer could meet its debt obligations at the time of its acquisition of Mattress Firm in the US. Steinhoff has said it is assessing the claims

Wiese told Fin24 that the lawsuit is an effort to recover money, and not necessarily to regain control of Pepkor. 

He could not say what the restructuring of Steinhoff should look like. He stepped down as the global conglomerate's chair in mid-December 2017, just more than a week after the group's former CEO Markus Jooste abruptly resigned.

“We consider it to be in the best interests of all stakeholders; shareholders, creditors, claimants, that the company is restructured. It (Steinhoff) has a lot going for it. If it is properly sensibly restructured the company should be able to deliver value,” he said. 

He would also not speculate whether Steinhoff would be able to pay him back the R59bn he is claiming. Steinhoff’s share value has dropped more than 95% since an accounting scandal was revealed by its auditors in December 2017. 

On Thursday, following news that Wiese intended to sue Steinhoff, the company's share price took a beating falling by more than 13% to trade at R1.92 at market close. This is the first time the group's shares have traded below R2.00. 

“I can’t forecast that, there are a lot of other claimants as well. Some who have written to the company as a matter of public record, placing their claims on the table. So it is very difficult to forecast what is going to happen."

Wiese said that he chose not to join one of various class action suits against Steinhoff, as his case is unique. “I believe my case is different and there is no point in me joining a class action.”

* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
16.47
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
19.85
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.74
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.56
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.1%
Gold
1,777.58
-0.1%
Silver
20.17
-0.5%
Palladium
2,133.33
-0.9%
Platinum
928.65
-1.0%
Brent Crude
95.10
-3.2%
Top 40
64,540
+0.8%
All Share
71,288
+0.8%
Resource 10
64,848
+2.4%
Industrial 25
87,014
+0.1%
Financial 15
16,235
+0.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders