A COMPANY sign on the Steinhoff International Holdings company headquarters in Stellenbosch. Photo: Dwayne Senior/ Bloomberg.
DURBAN – Steinhoff International is set to lose 291.4million (R4.58billion) if a claim by one of its creditors LSW GmbH (LSW) proves to be successful.

LSW is suing Steinhoff’s subsidiary Steinhoff Europe (Seag) for restructuring plans announced in December.

However, Steinhoff has maintained that the restructuring had the backing of the majority of its creditors. It said it received no challenges to the Seag CVA within the prescribed 28-day period.

“The potential LSW claim is described in and, should the claim be finally determined or resolved in LSW’s favour, is addressed by the terms of the Seag CVA,” Steinhoff said.

“LSW alleges that as at December 14, the total sum owed to LSW, inclusive of interest and costs, amounted to approximately 291.4m. The application seeks to challenge certain provisions of the Seag CVA and related matters.”

Steinhoff said it was working towards the implementation of the restructuring of the group and management continues to support and focus on the ongoing operations.

The group added that its South African business remained self-funding, while Pepkor Europe and Poundland business continued to benefit from strong levels of liquidity with Mattress Firm self-supporting following the emergence from chapter 11.

Steinhoff is yet to publish the 2017 and 2018 financial statements after it admitted to accounting irregularities in December 2017, which led to a 95percent decline in its share price and a loss of more than R200bn in market capitalisation.

However, the company said the financials would be published in April, subject to any delay caused by the challenge to the Seag CVA.

“The company expects to publish its unaudited quarterly update for the three months to end December 31, 2018, in line with the usual reporting timetable, that is by February 28,” the group said.

In an effort to raise liquidity, Steinhoff agreed to the sale of Steinpol, a non-core manufacturer of entry-level to mid-price upholstery operating eight factories in Poland and one factory in Hungary, on January 11.

“The enterprise value for the business amounts to 26.5m, of which 9m is deferred consideration.

Closing is expected on or around January 31 and is subject primarily to merger control clearance of entry-level to mid-priced,” the group said.

Steinhoff shares delined 1.60percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R1.85.

BUSINESS REPORT