Pepkor Holdings strategy to forge an identity out of the scandal-hit Steinhoff took a setback yesterday after the JSE slapped it with a R5m fine. File Photo: IOL

DURBAN – Pepkor Holdings strategy to forge an identity out of the scandal-hit Steinhoff took a setback yesterday after the JSE slapped it with a R5 million fine for breaching listing requirements.

The JSE said the breaches included inadequate disclosures made during the process of Pepkor listing and the publication of its annual financial statements in 2017.

Pepkor was listed as Steinhoff Africa Retail (STAR) in September last year, but changed its name in July after it was unbundled from Steinhoff International. 

Pepkor yesterday acknowledged that inadequate disclosures of guarantees and loans were made during the process of its listing. 

The JSE said it has decided to impose this public censure against the company with the fine, R1m of which was suspended for a period of two years.

Pepkor chief executive Leon Lourens said the board and management are engaging the JSE in an attempt to resolve the matter. 

“We acknowledge that inadequate disclosures were made during the process of Pepkor’s listing and the publication of its annual financial statements in 2017,” Lourens said. 

“We have engaged in a proactive and transparent manner with the JSE on the matter and welcome the conclusion of the investigation. We have further worked intensively to improve disclosure where necessary and appropriate.” 

Steinhoff still holds a 71 percent majority stake in Pepkor. 

Pepkor’s portfolio includes retail brands such as Pep, Ackermans, Tekkie Town, Bradlows and HiFi Corporation and has footprints in 12 African countries.

Pepkor reported a 10.9 percent increase in turnover to R64.2 billion for the year to end September while operating profit, before capital items, excluding once-off costs, increased by 10.7 percent to R6.4bn.

The group said it opened more than 400 new stores during the year and plans to open a further 300 stores in 2019.

Pepkor shares rose 7.55 percent on the JSE on Monday to close at R19.79.

BUSINESS REPORT