The Steinhoff share price leapt by more than 22 percent on the JSE this morning after the retailer said it had reached an agreement with Conservatorium to resolve the multi-jurisdictional legacy litigation and claims against the group. Picture: File
The Steinhoff share price leapt by more than 22 percent on the JSE this morning after the retailer said it had reached an agreement with Conservatorium to resolve the multi-jurisdictional legacy litigation and claims against the group. Picture: File

Steinhoff shares leap on agreement with Conservatorium and Deloitte

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Feb 15, 2021

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DURBAN - THE STEINHOFF International share price leapt by more than 22 percent on the JSE this morning after the troubled retailer said it had reached an agreement with Conservatorium Holdings LLC to resolve the multi-jurisdictional legacy litigation and claims against the group.

Steinhoff said on Monday that it had constructive engagements with Conservatorium and certain entities linked to its former chairperson Christo Wiese and the parties had reached an agreement in principle, subject to certain conditions.

The claims against the company stem from its December 2017 share price collapse of more than 90 percent as a result of accounting irregularities, which led to a number of litigations in countries such as The Netherlands, Germany and South Africa.

As a result, Steinhoff proposed a R16.5 billion settlement in July last year in an attempt to resolve past legacy claims against it. Some creditors accepted the proposed settlement, but Conservatorium rejected it.

Conservatorium had earlier rejected the settlement proposal because it argued that it was treated unfairly under those proposed settlements.

It had sought to appoint a restructuring expert in The Netherlands but, following the engagements between the parties, it had since withdrawn the application to appoint a restructuring expert.

“Following a number of constructive engagements between the parties, an agreement has been reached, in principle, between, among others, Steinhoff International Holdings NV (SIHNV), Steinhoff International Holdings Proprietary Limited (SIHPL), Conservatorium and certain entities linked to Christo Wiese. This agreement is subject to a number of conditions. The result of the agreement reached among the parties is that Conservatorium will withdraw the application,” the group said.

Wiese also sued Steinhoff for R59bn in 2018.

The group said its former auditors Deloitte had agreed to offer an amount of up to Є55.34 million (R971.19m) for distribution to market purchase claimants (MPC) in exchange for certain waivers and releases.

However, Deloitte said it did not in any way admit liability for the losses incurred by Steinhoff and its stakeholders as a result of the accounting irregularities at Steinhoff.

Mazars replaced Deloitte as auditors in 2019.

Steinhoff share price climbed to a day-high of R2.93 on the JSE, up from Friday’s closing price of R2.23 following the release of the global settlement agreement.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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