Three ex­ecs in Stein­hoff po­lice re­port

The Witness - - NEWS -

STEIN­HOFF­ In­ter­na­tional­ has­ pro­vid­edSouth­ African­ po­lice­ with­ in­for­ma­tion­about­ a­ set­ of­ trans­ac­tion­sin­volv­ing­ three­ more­ for­merex­ec­u­tives­ who­ may­ have­ con­tribut­edto­ its­ ac­count­ing­ cri­sis,­ ac­cord­ingto­ two­ peo­ple­ fa­mil­iar­ with­the­ mat­ter.

The­ owner­ of­ Con­forama­ in­France­ and­ Pound­land­ in­ the­ UKhas­ al­ready­ re­ferred­ for­mer­ CEOMarkus­ Jooste­ for­ his­ role­ in­ thes­can­dal,­ which­ has­ wiped­ 96%­ offthe­ mar­ket­ value.­ Now­ DirkSchreiber,­ a­ Ger­man­ na­tional­ whowas­ head­ of­ fi­nance­ in­ Europe,­ canbe­ added­ to­ the­ list,­ said­ the­ peo­ple,ask­ing­ not­ to­ be­ named­ be­causethe­ in­for­ma­tion­ is­ pri­vate.

For­mer­ chief­ fi­nan­cial­ of­fi­cer­ Benla­ Grange­ and­ for­mer­ com­pa­ny­sec­re­tary­ Ste­han­ Grob­ler­ com­pletethe­ quar­tet,­ they­ said.

De­tails­ of­ the­ four­ for­mer­ ex­ec­u­tives’al­leged­ in­volve­ment­ in­ eventslead­ing­ up­ to­ a­ fail­ure­ to­ re­por­tau­dited­ re­sults­ for­ 2017­ haveemerged­ dur­ing­ an­ on­go­ing­ in­ves­ti­ga­tionby­ PwC,­ the­ peo­ple­ said.Three­ more­ as-yet-uniden­ti­fied­ in­di­vid­u­als­may­ also­ be­ re­ported,­ ac­cord­ingto­ one­ of­ the­ peo­ple.

PwC’s­ foren­sic­ re­port­ into­ theac­counts­ is­ due­ to­ be­ com­plet­edby­ the­ end­ of­ this­ year.­ Once­ thefind­ings­ of­ the­ re­port­ are­ pub­lished,for­mal­ charges­ may­ pro­ceeda­gainst­ any­one­ im­pli­cated­ in­wrong­do­ing,­ ac­cord­ing­ to­ a­ spokesper­son­for­ the­ Hawks.

Schreiber­ didn’t­ re­spond­ to­ re­quests­for­ com­ment.­ Grob­ler­ de­clinedto­ com­ment­ on­ his­ re­fer­ral,cit­ing­ con­fi­den­tial­ity­ agree­ments.La­ Grange­ said­ he­ hasn’t­ been­ in­formedthat­ Stein­hoff­ has­ given­his­ name­ to­ the­ Hawks­ and­ so­can’t­ com­ment.­ Nei­ther­ Jooste­ norhis­ lawyer­ re­sponded­ to­ a­ mes­sage­seek­ing­ com­ment.

Stein­hoff­ said­ that­ while­ ithanded­ a­ re­port­ to­ the­ Hawks­ in­Au­gust­ re­quest­ing­ that­ the­ po­li­cein­ves­ti­gate­ a­ set­ of­ trans­ac­tions,no­ com­plaint­ was­ made­ again­stany­ in­di­vid­ual.

“Any­ spec­u­la­tion­ of­ the­ name­sand­ the­ num­ber­ of­ names­ in­cludedin­ the­ re­port­ is­ just­ that,”­ as­pokesper­son­ for­ Stein­hoff­ said­ inan­ e-mailed­ re­sponse­ to­ ques­tions.

While­ spe­cific­ de­tails­ aboutwhat­ caused­ the­ cri­sis­ have­ beensparse,­ Stein­hoff­ has­ said­ PwC­ is­par­tic­u­larly­ fo­cused­ on­ cer­tain­ off­bal­ance-sheet­deals­ and­ in­flatedas­set­ val­ues.­ The­ com­pany­ haswrit­ten­ off­ the­ value­ of­ as­sets­ by­more­ than­ $14­ bil­lion­ over­ the­course­ of­ the­ year,­ while­ U.S.­ unitMat­tress­ Firm­ filed­ for­ bankrupt­cyon­ Oc­to­ber­ 5.­

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