FRANKFURT/JOHANNESBURG, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Steinhoff's
finance head stepped down on Thursday as the South
African retailer focuses on plugging a hole in its finances
after an accounting scandal.
The owner of more than 40 multinational retail brands
including Conforama, Mattress Firm and Poundland, announced a 2
billion euro ($2.41 billion) "accounting irregularity" last
month along with the departure of its chief executive, Markus
The company has so far raised around $400 million from the
sale of a portion of its stake in South African investment
heavyweight PSG Group. It is also due to receive around
$1.2 billion in debt repayment from its subsidiary, Steinhoff
Steinhoff said in its latest statement that Ben la Grange
would leave his chief financial officer role and Philip
Dieperink would become acting CFO.
The company said la Grange would however be concentrating on
"the preservation and procurement of liquidity in the group" and
finalising its 2017 accounts.
The company also said it planned to hire a debt
restructuring expert in the role of chief restructuring officer.
In a presentation prepared for a meeting with lenders in
London on December 19, Steinhoff said some credit facilities
were being suspended or withdrawn and insurers were cancelling
or reducing credit insurance.
Steinhoff earlier this week said it would have to restate
its 2015 accounts and maybe earlier figures, having already
warned on its 2016 numbers.
($1 = 0.8286 euros)
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing
by Georgina Prodhan and Elaine Hardcastle)
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