Steinhoff's shares sink again as chairman quits and retail giant says it must restate 2016 accounts

The retailer's chief executive resigned when the accounting irregularities emerged (Source: Getty)

South African retail giant Steinhoff saw its chairman quit this evening, after the group said earlier in the day it will need to reissue its financial figures for 2016.

The retail giant said that tycoon and major shareholder Christo Wiese had offered to resign, to reinforce the independent governance of the company, and that the supervisory board accepted this “to address any possible conflict of interest that may exist”.

Wiese's son Jacob has also stepped down from his board position, while Heather Sonn – a member of the supervisory board – will take the role of acting chairperson.

The embattled conglomerate, which owns Poundland and Bensons for Beds in the UK, has been thrown into turmoil after admitting to accounting irregularities. The firm's chief executive Markus Jooste resigned immediately after the announcement, and shares plunged by 90 per cent.

Read more: Poundland owner's share price plunges another 32 per cent

In a statement earlier in the day, the company said there were "issues concerning the validity and recoverability of certain Steinhoff Europe balance sheet assets" that needed to be considered, and that the financial statements for 2016 were no longer reliable.

Steinhoff's share price was down by 13.4 per cent at the close on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

The retail conglomerate has hired AlixPartners and Moelis & Company to help it navigate its accounting irregularities.

AlixPartners will advise on Steinhoff's operations, while Moelis & Company will take charge of discussions with lenders.

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