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Poundland owner's shares collapse following chief executive resignation and accounting probe

06 December 2017, 01:53 | Melvin Schneider

Poundland owner's shares collapse following chief executive resignation and accounting probe

Poundland owner's shares collapse following chief executive resignation and accounting probe

Criminal investigators were now reviewing documents and data seized during raids, the prosecutors' office in the German city of Oldenburg said in a statement on Wednesday.

Steinhoff bought the Willenhall-based chain of discount stores for £610 million past year.

It added: "We are wondering if the investigations may not also be extended to the chairman of the supervisory board Christo Wiese, as he has been closely related to various deals and as the board chairman has to fulfil certain supervisory duties".

Shares in Poundland's parent firm Steinhoff International have lost nearly 60% of their value after its chief executive quit amid allegations of accounting irregularities.

It came as chief executive Markus Jooste resigned and the South African group postponed its full-year results. "In addition, the Company will determine whether any prior years" financial statements will need to be restated'.

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Shares in the firm tumbled over 60% in South Africa on Wednesday as investors digested the news. Steinhoff derives about 60% of its earnings in Europe and 34% in Africa.

Shares in the South Africa-based company - predominantly a furniture retailer with operations in 30 countries - tumbled 59% when the Frankfurt stock exchange opened for business on Wednesday.

The company said (http://www.steinhoffinternational.com/downloads/2017/Announcement%205%20Dec%202017%20JSE.pdf) "new information has come to light today which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation".

The group has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by the state prosecutor in Oldenburg in Germany since 2015.

It is not clear if these are the accounting irregularities Steinhoff is referring to in its latest statement.



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