All eyes on Steinhoff's first AGM since accounting fiasco hit global retailer

Cape Town - Steinhoff shareholders will get the opportunity to pose questions directly to the company’s leadership on Friday, when the global retailer holds its Annual General Meeting in the Netherlands.

Since the abrupt resignation on its CEO Markus Jooste amid an accounting scandal in early December last year, the group's share price has fallen by over 95%, wiping out over R200bn in market capitalisation.

Once one of the largest firms on the JSE, Steinhoff risks falling out of the top 100 companies on the local bourse by valuation if its share price declines any further. Earlier in the week its share price touched a new low of R2.01 a share, half its 1998 listing price. 

The AGM is taking place at the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel and Conference Centre in the Netherlands, and will be live-streamed at a venue in Cape Town.

According to the AGM notice, top management will provide shareholders with an overview of actions taken since Jooste’s resignation, and give an update on the group's liquidity.

The leadership is also expected to brief shareholders on how it has tried to strengthen the group's corporate governance since the share price plunge, and talk about Steinhoff's business and strategy. Shareholders will also be able to ask questions. 

A series of votes will then take place on the composition of the management and supervisory boards, remuneration and other matters. 

One of the key points shareholders will be hoping to learn about is the status of a forensic investigation being undertaken by PwC into the group's finances.

Steinhoff has previously said that it only after this investigation has been completed will the full extent of the accounting scandal be clear.

Trade union federation Fedusa, meanwhile, has said it would picket Friday's meeting.

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