Published: Wed, December 06, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Shares in global retailer crash almost 70% after CEO resigns

Shares in global retailer crash almost 70% after CEO resigns

Shares in South Africa-based German-listed retail giant Steinhoff fell nearly 60% on Wednesday after the company announced the resignation of its CEO in the wake of alleged accounting irregularities.

Earlier this year Poundland put United Kingdom discount chain 99p Stores - which it bought for £55m two years ago - into administration.

Steinhoff said Wiese would "embark on a detailed review of all aspects of the company's business with a view to maximising shareholder value", but its South African shares slumped 65 percent to an eight-year low of 15.87 by 1120 GMT.

Shares in Steinhoff International fell by about 60 per cent after the news was announced.

"Steinhoff will update the market as the aforesaid investigation proceeds, ' the company said in a statement". It warned it might have to restate financial statements from prior years.

Steinhoff said its chairman and largest shareholder Christo Wiese would take temporary charge while a successor to Mr Jooste was identified. As well as furniture and homeware, it also sells products including clothing, footwear and consumer goods.

As well as Poundland, which it acquired a year ago for £610 million, Steinhoff is the parent firm of Harveys and Bensons For Beds.

It bought Poundland a year ago and has introduced its Pep&Co budget clothing brand into scores of stores.

Steinhoff moved its primary stock market listing from South Africa to Frankfurt in 2015.

Martin Jooste announced his resignation with immediate effect last night after the company announced that "new information has come to light" relating to "accounting irregularities requiring further investigation".

Kepler Cheuvreux said the pending tax and accounting investigations "could show severe irregularities".

It is not now clear what "accounting irregularities" the company is referring to in its statement.

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