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Steinhoff International shares surge after it sweetens offer to shareholder claimants

Steinhoff International’s share price shot up 12.7 percent on Friday after it increased its proposed offer to settle multiple shareholder claims by €243 million (R4.15bn) to €1.2 billion. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency/ANA

Steinhoff International’s share price shot up 12.7 percent on Friday after it increased its proposed offer to settle multiple shareholder claims by €243 million (R4.15bn) to €1.2 billion. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency/ANA

Published Jul 19, 2021

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STEINHOFF International’s share price shot up 12.7 percent on Friday after it increased its proposed offer to settle multiple shareholder claims by €243 million (R4.15bn) to €1.2 billion.

The announcement by the scandal hit South African retailer also sent the price of its Frankfurt-listed shares up by 15.33 percent.

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The JSE price closed at R1.78 on Friday. Steinhoff faces 90 separate legal claims in the Netherlands, Germany and South Africa from shareholders who lost money when it revealed holes in its accounts in December 2017 following fraud allegedly masterminded by several of its executives.

The existing settlement offer had been agreed with financial creditors as part of a 2019 restructuring.

In a statement on Friday, it said there had been “a material improvement in the underlying financial and operational performance of the group since the announcement of the settlement proposal in July 2020”, when the effects of both Covid-19 and currency movements had restricted the funds available for a settlement.

“Steinhoff continues to believe the Steinhoff global settlement proposal … represents a significantly better outcome for litigants and creditors relative to the outcomes in the event of no settlement,” the group said.

Chief executive Louis du Preez said: “The resilience of the group’s performance … allows us to materially increase the total available pot for settlement. The revised proposal offers claimants a fair outcome, and the best opportunity to recover amounts in respect of any claims in the near term and with certainty.”

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