Investors dump Steinhoff on CEO fraud report

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Frankfurt - Steinhoff International shares have slumped the most on record after Manager-Magazin reported that chief executive officer Markus Jooste is among employees being investigated by German prosecutors in a 2015 case tied to possible accounting fraud.

The clothing and food retailer’s stock dropped as much as 14% in Frankfurt and traded 7.8% lower at 3.90 euros in afternoon trade. About 33 million shares traded, more than eight times the three-month daily average. The company’s Johannesburg-listed shares declined the most in nine years, closing 9.81% lower at R59.59.

The report in Manager-Magazin relates to a case which began in late 2015, just before Steinhoff moved its primary listing to Frankfurt from Johannesburg. In November of that year, German authorities searched Steinhoff offices in the town of Westerstede and visited private homes as part of an investigation by prosecutors in the German town of Oldenburg into four current and former managers.

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