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Poundland owners shares collapse due to accounting irregularities

Poundland store

Steinhoff International, owner of Poundland, Harveys and Bensons for Beds in the UK has seen its shares plummet by more than 50% after it flagged up accounting irregularities.

Late on Tuesday, the company announced that Chief Executive Markus Jooste had resigned with immediate effect after the discovery of new information that prompted the company's supervisory board to ask consultants PwC to perform an "independent investigation".

In a statement, the company said: "The Supervisory Board of Steinhoff wishes to advise shareholders that new information has come to light today which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation". The retailer also postponed its results announcement and a webcast scheduled for Wednesday until further notice. 

Jooste had been at the helm of Steinhoff for nearly 20 years and oversaw its expansion from a furniture manufacturer in South Africa to one of the largest household goods retailers in the world. Billionaire Christo Wiese, Steinhoff's largest shareholder and chairman, will take over in an executive capacity on an interim basis. 

Since 2015, the company has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by the state prosecutor in Oldenburg, Germany since 2015. Steinhoff has said that was a tax case relating to whether revenues were booked correctly, and taxable profit correctly declared. 

Source: Insight DIY Team

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06 December 2017

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