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Steinhoff cautions shareholders and investors after Chamber delay

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On 22 January, Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. made an announcement at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange stating: “shareholders and other investors in the Company are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group.”

The announcement follows a postponement by the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal in the Netherlands, where the company is incorporated. The Chamber was supposed to issue a decision on a joint venture dispute involving Steinhoff and a third party, on 22 January, but has since postponed it to 19 February 2018. In a letter to the Board of Steinhoff, the Chamber said its “not in a position as yet to issue its decision.”

Steinhoff has been embroiled in financial upheaval and investor-fallout related to a so-called “accounting irregularity”, that has seen the company’s share price plunge by some 80%, and its former CEO Markus Jooste unexpectedly quit the company. While the pending decision by the Chamber predates the “accounting irregularity” that forced the company to delay publication of its 2017 audited financial statements, it will nevertheless cause some jitters to those shareholders still holding on to Steinhoff shares, as well as would-be investors in the group.

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