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Published: Sat, December 09, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Shares in Poundland, Benson for Beds and Harveys owner crash

Shares in Poundland, Benson for Beds and Harveys owner crash

The chief executive of Poundland's owner has quit amid claims of accounting irregularities, wiping two thirds off the company's value. As well as Poundland, it owns Benson for Beds, Harveys Furniture and Pep&Co in the UK. Its stock tumbled by as much as 29% in Johannesburg.

The group has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by the state prosecutor in Oldenburg in Germany since 2015. The company had taken 4 months to respond to respond to a red flag.

At the same time, the Public Servants Association has called for the safeguarding of pension investments, saying that more than R12 billion has been lost through investments at Steinhoff.

"In addition, the company's subsidiary Steinhoff Africa Retail Limited (STAR) will today formally commit to the refinancing of its long-term liabilities due to the company".

"The additional liquidity of circa €2 billion expected to be achieved through these measures will strengthen the company's balance sheet and should provide additional comfort to stakeholders of the company's ability to be able to fund its existing operations and reduce debt", Steinhoff said.

In a series of tweets, the JSE said it had come to the decision after considering "all the facts and information at [their] disposal". It said that La Grange would therefore remain in his position.

The company said late on Tuesday that CEO Markus Jooste had resigned with immediate effect after the discovery of new information prompted the company's supervisory board to ask consultants PwC to perform an "independent investigation".

Steinhoff, whose largest shareholder is South African billionaire Christo Wiese, is also considering the "validity and recoverability" of certain non-South African assets, which amount to about 6 billion euros, it said, without giving further detail.

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