Christo Wiese in Parliament.

Steinhoff International Holdings NV ex-Chairman Christo Wiese is suing the scandal-hit retailer for R59 billion ($4.8 billion) related to cash investments made in the company in 2015 and 2016.

Wiese was the biggest shareholder in the owner of Conforma in France and Mattress Firm in the US when the retailer reported a hole in the accounts in December. 

The stock has since plunged 95%, and Wiese was forced to sell down his stake to cover margin calls on loans.

Wiese confirmed by phone the authenticity of the emailed statement announcing the legal claims, which call for the cancellation of an agreement whereby Wiese’s Titan Group took Steinhoff shares in exchange for his clothing retailer Pepkor.

-BLOOMBERG