UPDATE: Steinhoff to receive long-awaited PwC forensic report

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Fourteen months after it was hired to conduct an independent forensic investigation into Steinhoff, PwC is expected to soon submit its long-awaited report to the company's leadership. 

PwC was hired by the Stellenbosch-headquartered furniture and household goods conglomerate to scrutinise its books in the wake of the abrupt resignation of Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste in December 2017. This after the group's auditors flagged accounting irregularities. 

The findings of the forensic probe were initially expected to be handed to Steinhoff leadership in December 2018, but this was delayed until February 2019.

The work was "significantly more complex than initially anticipated, with multiple workstreams operating across a number of jurisdictions" Steinhoff said in a market update last year.

PwC has not publicly commented on the content of the report.

A Steinhoff spokesperson said in an email on Tuesday that the PwC investigation is expected to be complete by the end of February and that the company hoped to provide the market with an overview of the PwC's findings "after it has had time to review the full final report". 

"This overview will ensure that the legally privileged nature of the report is not undermined and its position in the various pending legal and other proceedings is not jeopardised."

Meanwhile on Wednesday morning, Steinhoff announced that the 2017 and 2018 financial statements of Steinhoff Investment Holdings Limited will be released at the end of May.

Steinhoff Investments is a subsidiary of Steinhoff International Holdings.

In a SENS statement, it said, "Shareholders are referred to the announcement made on 6 December 2018, where the Company announced that Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. had estimated that it will publish its Group audited financial statements for 2017 and 2018 by the middle of April 2019, and that the 2017 and 2018 financial statements for Steinhoff Investment Holdings Limited will be released shortly thereafter.

"The Company is today providing an update that it estimates that it will publish the 2017 and 2018 audited financial statements for Steinhoff Investment Holdings Limited by the end of May 2019," it said.

Shares in Steinhoff have plunged by more than 90% since Jooste resigned, shrinking its market capitalisation by about R200bn.

Its shares were trading at R2.15 at close of trade on Tuesday.

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