Shares in Steinhoff, the owner of Poundland, have dropped another 32 per cent this morning, following yesterday's crash.
The South Africa-listed stock plummeted by 66 per cent on Wednesday after the chief executive quit amid reports of an accounting probe.
Marcus Jooste stood down after Steinhoff announced new information had come to light "regarding irregularities requiring further investigation". PwC has been appointed to carry out an independent investigation.
Today, Steinhoff, which bought Poundland last year in a £610m deal, issued the following statement to shareholders:
The Supervisory Board has today given further consideration to the issues subject to the investigation and to the validity and recoverability of certain non-South African assets of the company which amount to circa €6bn (£5.3bn).
The company wishes to provide additional comfort on the company’s liquidity. In this regard, the company has today received expressions of interest in certain non-core assets that will release a minimum of €1bn of liquidity. In addition, the company’s subsidiary Steinhoff Africa Retail Limited (STAR) will today formally commit to the refinancing of its long-term liabilities due to the company. It is expected that the STAR refinancing will be concluded on better terms than those applicable to STAR’s current liabilities due to Steinhoff, given the strong cash flow inherent in its business. The additional liquidity of circa €2bn expected to be achieved through these measures will strengthen the company’s balance sheet and should provide additional comfort to stakeholders of the company’s ability to be able to fund its existing operations and reduce debt.
Furthermore, based on the current information at the board’s disposal there is no evidence to suggest that the CFO had any involvement in the matters under investigation. Therefore, the company wishes to confirm that its CFO, Ben La Grange, remains in his position. Ben La Grange has resigned from his position as CEO of STAR in order to focus solely on his role as CFO of the company at this time.
Shareholders and other investors in the company are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group.