PSG:  23,375   +545 (+2.39%)  13/12/2018 00:00

Steinhoff CFO steps down as crisis-hit retailer shuffles top team

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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 Jooste.

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 Africa Retail.

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for a meeting with lenders in London on December 19, Steinhoff said some credit facilities were being suspended or withdrawn and insurers were cancelling or reducing credit insurance.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)

2018-01-04 18:43:20

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