Steinhoff shares plunge 60% as Jooste quits over alleged accounting irregularities

Steinhoff shares plunge 60% as Jooste quits over alleged accounting irregularities

It has revealed its veteran chief executive, Markus Jooste, "has tendered his resignation with immediate effect and the board has accepted the resignation".

Its European operation expanded past year to include United Kingdom discount retailer Poundland.

Steinhoff has asked accountancy giant PwC to conduct an independent investigation.

This came after Steinhoff International CEO Marcus Jooste announced his resignation on Tuesday night, causing an indefinite delay in the release of Steinhoff Holding's full-year results, which were scheduled for release on Wednesday.

It would publish the audited 2017 consolidated financial statements when it was in a position to do so and would further determine whether any prior years' financial statements would need to be restated.

The company also dropped a January 31, 2018 deadline for publishing its audited 2017 consolidated financial statements, saying it would only do so "when it is in a position to do so".

As well as furniture and homeware, it also sells products including clothing, footwear and consumer goods.

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The board has appointed Steinhoff's chairman, the South African retail billionaire Christo Wiese, as executive chairman on an interim basis following Mr Jooste's departure.

The group's brands include Bensons for Beds and Harveys in the UK, Conforama in Europe, Pep and Ackermans in South Africa and Snooze in Australia.

"Steinhoff will update the market as the aforesaid investigation proceeds, ' the company said in a statement".

JSE-listed African retail subsidiary Steinhoff Africa Retail (STAR) announced on Wednesday that it was "unaffected by the events at [JSE-listed retail multinational] Steinhoff".

While the nature of its accounting investigation was not disclosed, it had already been known that it was facing a tax probe in Germany.

It is not now clear what "accounting irregularities" the company is referring to in its statement.

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