Cape Town - Billionaire SA businessman Christo Wiese may not be a dollar billionaire anymore.
According to Forbes, which runs a real-time update of the world’s richest people, Wiese’s total net worth has fallen to $728m – which still equates to a tidy R10.7bn at Friday’s exchange rate.
Wiese is one of the biggest investors in multinational furniture retailer Steinhoff, whose share price has decline precipitously since Wednesday morning, after its CEO Markus Jooste abruptly resigned late on Tuesday.
The firm has also instructed PwC to carry out an internal investigation into what it termed “accounting irregularities requiring further investigation”.
Steinhoff’s shares were trading at R8.89 at 13:21 on Friday, down over 80% from their closing position of R46.25 on Tuesday evening.
Wiese has taken over the running of the company on a temporary basis after Jooste stepped down.
The company’s 2016 audited results state that Wiese owns 23% - or 982 859 150 - of its 4.32bn shares. His shares stem from the acquisition of his Pepkor Holdings by Steinhoff in 2015.
Steinhoff’s 2017 results have been delayed, meaning there is not yet an updated tally of Wiese shares.
But based on the extent of his previous shareholdings, Wiese owned some R45bn worth of Steinhoff shares on Tuesday evening.
As of Friday at 13:30, this had fallen to R8.7bn, a decrease of R36.3bn.* Sign up to Fin24's top news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO FIN24 NEWSLETTER