Steinhoff offices in Stellenbosch Cape Town. The company is seeking about e200m liquidity.
Photo: Henk Kruger/African News Agency/ANA
Steinhoff offices in Stellenbosch Cape Town. The company is seeking about e200m liquidity.
Photo: Henk Kruger/African News Agency/ANA
Steinhoff offices in Stellenbosch Cape Town. The company is seeking about e200m liquidity.
Photo: Henk Kruger/African News Agency/ANA
Steinhoff offices in Stellenbosch Cape Town. The company is seeking about e200m liquidity.
Photo: Henk Kruger/African News Agency/ANA
DURBAN - Steinhoff International said yesterday that it was seeking some liquidity to the tune of 200million (R3bn) from its existing funders to ease off its financial woes.

The group said 60m would be made available today.

This news comes after Steinhoff announced yesterday that Jayendra Naidoo became the fourth high-profile person to leave the scandal-rocked company this month when he resigned as a member of its supervisory board.

Markus Jooste started the exodus when the group admitted to accounting irregularities dating back to December 2015. Jooste was followed by chairperson Christo Wiese, who had taken over the reins as executive chairperson after Jooste left last month.

At the beginning of the year, chief financial officer Ben la Grange also resigned, bringing the number of high-profile executives to leave the troubled retailer to a total of three.

Steinhoff lost about $15bn (R184.17bn) in market capitalisation as its share price plunged by almost 85% after the scandal broke.

Yesterday, Naidoo joined the trio when the group announced that he resigned as a member of its supervisory board to focus his efforts on the board of its unit, Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star) where he is also the chairperson.

Steinhoff owns 78.26% of Star.

The group said Naidoo’s position on the company’s supervisory board would be filled by a new, independent director in due course.

Heather Sonn, the acting chairperson of Steinhoff International, said Star would continue to be a key part of the Steinhoff group and it was important to have a focused board and management team in place to maximise the potential of the business.

Operating profit

In December, Star reported a 13.2percent increase in revenue to R58.7bn, while operating profit before capital items increased by 25.2percent to R6.1bn.

The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) said it would enforce access to inspect the records of Steinhoff in terms of Section 26 of the Companies Act today at 10am in Stellenbosch.

The Viceroy Research group, which is credited for exposing the scandals in Steinhoff in December, has stepped out of the shadows.

Fraser Perring, a former British social worker who founded Viceroy Research, was quoted as saying in an interview in New York that he and colleagues Gabriel Bernarde and Aiden Lau were putting finishing touches on a research report questioning Steinhoff’s financials when Steinhoff said in December 5 it would conduct a probe of its accounting.

Steinhoff also faces action from Fedusa.

Fedusa said yesterday that the Company Act determined that any person who held or had a beneficial interest in any securities issued by Steinhoff had a right to inspect and copy the information contained in the records of the company.

Steinhoff shares gained 5.02percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R6.91.

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- BUSNINESS REPORT ONLINE