Steinhoff scraps directors' bonuses - for now
The group says it will be left to a newly-constituted Supervisory Board to decide on extra compensation for hard-working members
STEINHOFF has yielded to an outcry from shareholders and scrapped a proposal to vote on once-off payments of between €100, 000 and €200, 000 to members of its Supervisory Board at this month's annual general meeting.
One of the resolutions set to be put to the vote at the 20 April AGM was for Heather Sonn and Steve Booysen to each receive an extra €200, 000, while Johan van Zyl would receive €100, 000 due to the time the three had committed to the beleaguered group since early December.
In an announcement on 06 April, the group said it had taken note of the concerns raised by stakeholders around the proposed payments. It has scrapped that resolution for now but will still go ahead with other resolutions, including the reappointment of the three Supervisory Board members, as well as Angela Kruger-Steinhoff, who it says provide continuity to the processes undertaken to stabilise the retailer. It wants them to sit alongside new members who will be appointed to the board at the AGM. It says Van Zyl, Sonn and Booysen were members of the Independent Committee appointed in December to bolster independent governance of the group and to provide a centre of leadership after the resignation of CEO Markus Jooste. Apart from setting a forensic audit by PwC off on the correct footing, it says the three have also helped with crucial management decisions and have interacted with regulators, Parliament, shareholders and other stakeholders. They have also met with bankers and creditors to ensure liquidity for the group and the continued trading of its underlying companies.
"We believe a better understanding of the role that the Supervisory Board, and particularly its Independent Committee, has played since the crisis broke in early December 2017 in helping to stabilise the company, deal with creditors to ensure continued operations, to help uncover wrongdoing and to identify and bring to account those responsible, will be helpful to shareholders," Steinhoff said in a statement. "It is crucial for the company and its shareholders that there is continuity in these roles until such time as the stability of the group is reasonably assured."
Steinhoff said the three members had requested that the additional payments not be pursued at the AGM but left to the newly-constituted Board which will be appointed at the AGM, and specifically its Remuneration Committee, to resolve at an appropriate time in the future.
The group's shares rose as much as 4.3% yesterday before closing 1.7% up at R3.07. The shares slide 9.9% to a new low of R3.02c after it said property housed in its Hemisphere International Properties subsidiary may only be worth half of the €2.2 billion it was previously estimated at.