JOHANNESBURG - During a shareholder announcement on Thursday morning, embattled global retailer, Steinhoff voted to scrap once-off payments to three of its senior board members, in the wake of a looming Annual General Meeting (AGM) on April 20.

The retail giant has scrapped a proposal to vote on payments of between R1.46 million and R2.92 million to supervisory board members Steve Booysen and Heather Sonn.

The one-off payments, which were billed to "cover the additional work undertaken during the period since the accounting irregularities were identified in December 2017" were originally set to be voted on at Steinhoff's upcoming AGM.

The objected payments, were proposed for the "extraordinary time commitments" of the three board members since December 2017, when the group's former CEO Markus Jooste resigned amid an accounting scandal.

"The supervisory board members who were to receive these additional payments have requested that such matters are not pursued at the coming AGM.

They believe that these matters should be left to a newly constituted supervisory board which will be appointed at the AGM, and specifically its remuneration committee, to resolve at an appropriate time in the future," the statement read.

The statement also indicates that Steinhoff investors were outraged by the proposal to handsomely remunerate directors who failed to detect former CEO Markus Jooste’s irregular accounting.

Steinhoff conglomerate's acting chair,Heather Sonn, in a media statement, addressed the decision made at the request of the directors concerned.

Sonn said the company did not want the proposal to detract from what she labeled, "other critical matters that had to be considered at the AGM".

Shares in the retail giant sank to R3.02 at close of trade on the JSE on Wednesday.

The share price decrease comes just 24 hours after Steinhoff announced that the true value of a real estate portfolio owned by one of its European subsidiaries may be R16bn (€1.1bn) less than previously calculated.

Sonn also defended the group's proposal to retain the services of its long-time auditors, Deloitte.

She said the reappointment of the auditors was for the 2018 financial year, which began in October 2017 and ends in September 2018.


- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE