Steinhoff property valuation comes in below expectations

Steinhoff-Horslepy-Park-renderScandal plagued Steinhoff International has suffered another blow, revealing overnight that an independent valuation of one of its major property holding companies has delivered only half of the €2.2 billion (AUD$3.51 billion) it had previously estimated.

Steinhoff has previously flagged possible additional impairments of certain Steinhoff assets, subject to further investigation by auditors PwC.

Steinhoff engaged CBRE to put a value to properties held by its wholly owned subsidiary Hemisphere International Properties B.V. in a bid to determine what capital it could recover from assets amid the fall-out from a major accounting scandal.

The properties include stores, warehouses, offices, production sites and vacant land across Europe and the UK leased to the giant’s various retail operations.

As at 1 February CBRE has valued Hemisphere’s portfolio at just €1.1 billion (AUD$1.78 billion), around half of what Steinhoff had previously estimated, partly because under relevant accounting standards internal leases to Steinhoff entities are disregarded.

Steinhoff has now been forced to advise the market that the consolidated net book value of the Hemisphere portfolio will be “materially lower” than the guidance it previously provided.

“The Company will consider CBRE’s valuations in detail and will work with its auditors to determine the consolidated net book value of the Hemisphere Portfolio for the purposes of publication of the Company’s consolidated financial statements for 2017,” Steinhoff said in a statement.

Steinhoff was engulfed in an international scandal last year when accounting irregularities emerged in its business, sparking an investigation from German regulators.

The Frankfurt listed business has been reeling ever since, with a series of executives resigning and its share price tanking.

The Asia Pacific arm of the business, which owns the Freedom, Snooze and Fantastic Furniture businesses, has secured funding to continue trading.

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