Last week’s Steinhoff rally came to an abrupt halt on the JSE this week. Photo: David Harrison
INTERNATIONAL - Steinhoff extended for a second time on Wednesday the “early bird fee” deadline for creditors to sign a three-year agreement to hold off their debt claims, as the scandal-hit South African retailer battles to stay afloat.

Steinhoff wants to restructure its roughly nine billion euro debt after disclosing holes in its balance sheet that wiped more than 90 percent off its market value and forced it into asset sales to fund working capital.

The initial deadline was set for July 16, which was extended by 24 hours on Monday before being pushed back once again to 2200 GMT on Wednesday.

Creditors who sign up to the so-called lock-up agreement (LUA) within this time frame would qualify for an early bird fee.

“Positive progress is being made and the group is aiming to obtain, as soon as possible, the requisite support levels under the LUA,” Steinhoff said in a statement.