Jayendra Naidoo steps down from Pepkor board due to Steinhoff claim

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Pepkor said in his resignation letter, Jayendra Naidoo said that the litigation between himself and Steinhoff, as the majority shareholder in Pepkor, has made his role as a board member untenable.   Photo: Steinhoff website
Pepkor said in his resignation letter, Jayendra Naidoo said that the litigation between himself and Steinhoff, as the majority shareholder in Pepkor, has made his role as a board member untenable. Photo: Steinhoff website

Former Pepkor chairperson and the man who convinced the Public Investment Corporation to give him billions of Rands to buy into Steinhoff has resigned from the cheap clothing retailer's board.

Pepkor made the announcement on Wednesday evening that Jayendra Naidoo's resignation was linked to his legal battle with Steinhoff.

Naidoo's investment company, Lancaster, bought a 3% BEE stake in Steinhoff, which was reduced to almost nothing when the embattled retail group's share price went burst over accounting irregularities.

Now, Lancaster is one of many companies that have put legal claims against Steinhoff. Meanwhile, Steinhoff still owns a majority stake in Pepkor.

"In his letter of resignation Mr Naidoo states that the reason for his resignation is that the litigation between himself and Steinhoff, as the majority shareholder in Pepkor, has made his role as a board member untenable," wrote Pepkor in the announcement.

Pepkor said Naidoo's resignation will be effective from 1 February 2021.

When Naidoo stepped down from Steinhoff's supervisory board in 2018, he continued to stay on as chairperson of Steinhoff Africa Retail Limited (STAR) which was later that year renamed Pepkor Holdings.

He had led the board since Pepkor's listing on the JSE in 2017 and only stepped down at the end of November 2020 when his term ended, even though his legal battle with Steinhoff had been ongoing since 2019. He continued to sit on Pepkor's board as a non-executive director and the chairman of Pepkor's nomination committee and a member of other board committees.

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