INTERNATIONAL – Steinhoff International Holdings may have about €15 billion (R252bn) of assets and stakes in profitable companies such as Pepkor Holdings, but you won’t see that reflected in the share price.
The market capitalisation of the embattled retailer languished at an all-time low of €239m on Tuesday, suggesting shareholders have little chance that the proceeds of any future disposals will feed through to them. That’s even after Steinhoff agreed a much-delayed debt restructuring plan last week.
There’s one main reason for that: Litigation.
Steinhoff has highlighted a lengthy list of lawsuits as a significant threat to its ability to operate as a going concern. The claims amount to at least €6.2b and include a R59bn demand from former chairperson Christo Wiese.
All relate to the accounting scandal that engulfed the owner of Conforama and Poundland in late 2017, which left a number of individuals and companies out of pocket and caused the share price to collapse.