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Steinhoff International rises on Hamilton’s withdrawal of appeal

Steinhoff International rose more than 21 percent on the JSE yesterday after the troubled retailer said it had been informed by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal that Hamilton had withdrawn its appeal. Photo: Supplied

Steinhoff International rose more than 21 percent on the JSE yesterday after the troubled retailer said it had been informed by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal that Hamilton had withdrawn its appeal. Photo: Supplied

Published Jul 8, 2021

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STEINHOFF International rose more than 21 percent on the JSE yesterday after the troubled retailer said it had been informed by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal that Hamilton had withdrawn its appeal.

Steinhoff said as announced previously, Hamilton lodged an appeal against last month’s ruling of the Amsterdam District Court which dismissed its counter-requests for alternative measures related to the Dutch suspension of payments (SoP) claim review and voting process.

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Steinhoff said it was informed by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal that this appeal was withdrawn at the request of Hamilton.

“Hamilton’s withdrawal followed the Court of Appeal’s rejection, on June 29, 2021, of Hamilton’s appeal against the court’s May 28, 2021 decision to inter alia establish a committee of representation,” the group said.

The withdrawal comes after Steinhoff claimed a rare victory last week when the Dutch court rejected Hamilton BV and Hamilton 2 BV’s appeal in its proposed global litigation settlement and Dutch SoP proceedings.

However, Hamilton had separately lodged an appeal against the June 15 ruling of the court to dismiss the counter-requests for interim measures related to the Dutch SoP claim analysis and voting process. Steinhoff shares traded positively after the withdrawal, rising 21.38 percent to close at R1.76 from Tuesday’s closing price of R1.45.

Hamilton is seeking around R14 billion claims against Steinhoff following the December 2017 admission to accounting irregularities which led to a 95 percent decline in its share price.

Steinhoff had made available an amount of €943 million (R15.96bn) as a proposed settlement to its claimants as a result of the 2017 fallout.

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“The Steinhoff group maintains that a global settlement is in the best interest of all parties and will continue to take steps to achieve such a settlement,” the group said.

Steinhoff has promised to provide further updates to the market in due course. The group’s claimants are divided into market purchase claimants, contractual claimants and financial creditors.

Steinhoff said late last month during its interim results presentation that if the litigation settlement proposal process failed, it would collapse by the end of the year.

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In the half-year results, the group slashed its loss to €359m (R6.07bn) for the six months to end March, down from €1.52bn compared to last year despite operating in an environment dominated by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Douw Breed, managing director at Barnard Incoporated Attorneys, said the implications of the court’s decision are not clear for Steinhoff going forward at this stage.

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