Christo Wiese receives R7 billion payout from Steinhoff - much less than he lost

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Christo Wiese.
Christo Wiese.
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Steinhoff's former chairperson Christo Wiese has received cash and a Pepkor stake worth more than R7 billion from Steinhoff as part of a settlement.

Wiese confirmed to Netwerk24 that he received the assets earlier this week.

In January, a court approved Steinhoff's financial settlement with claimants, which the retailer hopes will draw a line under an accounting scandal linked to its former CEO Markus Jooste.

Wiese confirmed to Netwerk24 that he received cash and a 5% stake in Pepkor, which is currently worth more than R4 billion.

In return for dropping all current and future legal challenges against the retailer, claimants will share a "pot" of about 1.43 billion euro (roughly R25 billion), with payouts differing according to which of the three classes they belong to. Claimants are receiving cash and shares in Pepkor.

Wiese used to own 52% of Pepkor before he exchanged it for a stake of 20% in Steinhoff in 2014, when he sold Pepkor to the group.

His shares in Steinhoff lost more than 95% of their value after corporate fraud was uncovered. He has since sold his entire holding in the company.

In 2019, Wiese put in a $4 billion (R60 billion) claim with Steinhoff for his losses. But as part of the settlement, Wiese agreed to much less.

"It cost me a lot of money, but given my age, I decided that I didn't want to be in litigation for the next seven years, so I made the concession," Wiese told Netwerk24.

While this chapter of his Steinhoff saga is now ending, Wiese says he is now waiting for the perpetrators to be held responsible in court.

"Those of us who suffered damage will exert pressure that the right things are done."

He said that Steinhoff is "deadly serious" about pursuing Jooste.

Wiese defended the South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority, which has not yet brought Jooste to book, saying that it took the German authorities five years to prepare charges in the Steinhoff case. 

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