Steinhoff board member steps down

SteinhoffJayendra Naidoo has stepped down from the supervisory board of embattled retailer Steinhoff International, in order to focus his efforts on the board of Steinhoff Africa Retail Limited (STAR) where he is chairman.

The South African-based, Frankfurt-listed retailer said Naidoo’s position will be filled by a new independent director to be appointed in due course, as the supervisory board set up to deal with the company’s multiple accounting investigations continues.

In a liquidity update, Steinhoff also said it expects a refinancing and redemption of some or all of the financial indebtedness within South Africa; and the “development of a plan to address the group’s financial indebtedness”.

Waiver proposals to be made to certain financial creditors

In recent weeks, Steinhoff said it had received support from financial creditors to help it maintain stability.

“While the company is confident that it will receive sufficient support from its relevant finance providers to obtain these limited waivers, there can be no assurance that the company will be able to reach agreement with its finance providers on acceptable terms or at all.

In its update, Steinhoff reiterated that the Australian business is “an independent, profitable and financially strong business delivering positive cash flows with its own banking facilities and is not dependent on working capital support from the company.”

The debt and other liabilities of Steinhoff International have been estimated as high as $A61 billion, with the acknowledged debt for the over-arching corporate entity of more than $A16 billion and lease commitments for its stores of around $A15 million.

Steinhoff International’s share price plummeted by 80 per cent over 6-7 December, representing a loss of around $A15 billion in capitalisation after the company announced its auditors had refused to sign off on its 2017 accounts.

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