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Conforama's parent in criminal and tax probe - CEO resigns

ConforamaThe chief executive of Steinhoff, the group that controls Portuguese furniture and homeware retailer Conforama, has resigned over accounting irregularities and a resultig collapse in its share price.

Steinhoff's CEO, Markus Jooste, resigned on Wednesday as shares dropped 60%. The market was informed -  "Steinhoff's supervisory board informs its shareholders that it has had access to new information that relates to accounting irregularities that require further investigation."

The South African retail group has commissioned PwC to undertake an "independent investigation" into the accounts of the Netherlands-based group which has shared listed in Johannesburg and Frankfurt.

This announcement comes after it was reported that the 2017 results would be released on Wednesday, but not audited.

"In parallel with the Group's consolidated financial results for the year ended 30 September 2017, the supervisory board and the group's auditors, had not yet finalised their review of certain matters and circumstances, most of which were raised by the criminal and tax investigation in Germany,” read a statement issued on Monday, which added that the audited results should be released by January 31, 2018.

Jooste, who has been with Steinhoff since 1988, has helped turn the company into Europe’s second-largest homeware retailer with nine sizeable stores in Portugal. He will be replaced by 76-year old businessman, Christo Wiese.

Jooste also resigned from the board of Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star), an African subsidiary in which it owns a 76.8% stake, as did the CEO of Star, Ben la Grange.

It said new information has come to light relating to accounting irregularities, which might see the company having to restate previous financial statements.


+2 #1 Denby 2017-12-09 20:17
When I read the headline I was under the impression that the Tax Athority in Portugal where looking into the financial affairs of the above company. But on closer inspection it is the Germany financial Athority that are investigating Conforama's parent company.