Steinhoff agrees to give FSCA documents to aid investigation

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority says Steinhoff has agreed to give it documents that will aid its investigation into the multinational retailer for alleged insider trading, market manipulation, and false and misleading information.

The market conduct regulator last week issued a notice to Steinhoff to provide it with a copy of a 3 000-page forensic report into its finances by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Steinhoff had hired PwC to probe its books in the wake of the sudden resignation of Markus Jooste in December 2017, after the group's auditors flagged "accounting irregularities".

The final report was presented to Steinhoff's leadership earlier in the month. Steinhoff views it as private and confidential.  

The group's board made an 11-page overview of the document public.

The FSCA said in a statement that Steinhoff had agreed to furnish it with "all relevant documents to enable the FSCA to investigate alleged transgressions".

It said the Stellenbosch-headquartered group agreed to do this without "waiving the confidentiality and privilege which inheres in the PwC forensic report".

"Steinhoff has, in addition, confirmed that such disclosure will enable the FSCA to act against all persons implicated in the aforesaid transgressions."

The FSCA previously told a joint sitting of four parliamentary committees that the Steinhoff investigation would be its number one priority for the next three to six months.

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