Poundland owner Steinhoff sees its shares crash by 60%

Poundland owner Steinhoff sees its shares crash by 60%

Poundland Parent Steinhoff Announces Investigation Into Accounting Irregularities

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

It added that Markus Jooste - its CEO of nearly 20 years - had resigned with immediate effect.

Steinhoff International shares plummeted on Wednesday as its chief executive officer Markus Jooste resigned with immediate effect amid "accounting irregularities", while the release of the company's 2017 numbers has been postponed.

Steinhoff said the discovery of "new information" prompted the firm to draft in PwC to perform an "independent investigation".

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.

Shares in Steinhoff, which is listed in the Netherlands, plummeted nearly 60 per cent in early trading.

Steinhoff, which also owns Bensons for Beds and Harveys furniture store, reassured shareholders it has "a number of high quality profitable businesses around the world". Steinhoff derives about 60% of its earnings in Europe and 34% in Africa.

Steinhoff said its chairman and largest shareholder Christo Wiese would take temporary charge while a successor to Mr Jooste was identified.

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".

Steinhoff moved its primary stock market listing from South Africa to Frankfurt in 2015.

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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