Steinhoff CFO Steps Down, Shares Rebound After $200M Loan
Following revelations of accounting irregularities, retail conglomerate Steinhoff is beginning to show signs of improvements after its European division obtained an independent £180 million (~US$244 million) loan, and shook up its leadership team.
On Thursday, Steinhoff’s CFO, Ben la Grange – whom the company has reportedly cleared of any wrongdoing – has stepped down, with the company’s UK CFO, Philip Dieperin, taking over in the interim.
Mr la Grange will reportedly be concentrating on “the preservation and procurement of liquidity in the group”, whilst finalising 2017 accounts.
In December 2017, the company’s market capitalisation notably shrank from US$19 billion to US$1.9 billion within a few days.
In Australia, Steinhoff is the owner of retailers; POCO, Fantastic Furniture, Snooze and Freedom.
Despite the turmoil of its international counterparts, local Steinhoff CEO Michael Ford has reportedly affirmed that “the Steinhoff Asia Pacific business is an independent, profitable and financially strong business delivering positive cash flows”.
Mr Ford was The Good Guys former CEO and resigned last year after 13 years of tenure.
Steinhoff was also notably the underbidder to JB Hi-Fi in its acquisition of The Good Guys.
Whilst Steinhoff’s shares are still 80% lower than their position a month ago, on Thursday shares did rebound 25%.
This week, Steinhoff’s UK subsidiary, Poundland, reported strong Christmas figures, whilst its European unit, Pepkor Europe, announced it had replaced investment from its parent with a new independent loan of £180 million (~US$244 million).
Steinhoff has thus far reportedly raised around $400 million from the sale of a portion of its stake in South African PSG Group, and is also set to receive about $1.2 billion in debt repayment from subsidiary, Steinhoff Africa Retail.