Steinhoff says hole in accounts is deeper than first thought

Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH] said an investigation into the overstatement of profit and treatment of off-balance-sheet entities will result in further material impairments beyond the €6bn announced in December.

The South African retailer has received feedback from auditors at PwC in respect of the early months of their forensic probe and the company is now also investigating the roles of those previously at the helm, Steinhoff said in a statement on Thursday.

That’s likely to include former chief executive officer Markus Jooste, who quit when the owner of Conforama in France and Mattress Firm in the US first reported accounting irregularities December 5.

Steinhoff is being investigated by various parties after the stock plunged more than 96% and is facing at least two class action lawsuits.

It’s also being sued by former chairperson Christo Wiese for R59bn, while businessman GT Ferreira is seeking €100m. Parties related to Tekkie Town, a South African shoe retailer bought my Steinhoff in 2016, are claiming €120m.

The shares plunged more than 6% in Frankfurt to a new record low of €0.12.

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