Steinhoff considers sale of non-core assets

Details measures to allay shareholder fears.
Ben La Grange has resigned from his position as CEO of STAR but will remain CFO of Steinhoff, the company said on Thursday. Picture: Moneyweb

Steinhoff released an update on market concerns on Thursday morning, following the delay in audited results due to the need for further investigation. The full statement reads as follows:

Shareholders are referred to the AD HOC announcement released on December 5 2017 in which the company advised the market that the company’s audited results will be delayed pending further investigation.

Accounting

The Supervisory Board has today given further consideration to the issues subject to the investigation and to the validity and recoverability of certain non-South African assets of the company, which amount to circa €6 billion.

Liquidity

The company wishes to provide additional comfort on the company’s liquidity. In this regard, the company has today received expressions of interest in certain non-core assets that will release a minimum of €1 billion of liquidity. In addition, the company’s subsidiary Steinhoff Africa Retail Limited (STAR) will today formally commit to the refinancing of its long-term liabilities due to the company. It is expected that the STAR refinancing will be concluded on better terms than those applicable to STAR’s current liabilities due to Steinhoff, given the strong cash flow inherent in its business.

The additional liquidity of circa €2 billion expected to be achieved through these measures will strengthen the company’s balance sheet and should provide additional comfort to stakeholders of the company’s ability to be able to fund its existing operations and reduce debt.

CFO

Furthermore, based on the current information at the board’s disposal, there is no evidence to suggest that the CFO had any involvement in the matters under investigation. Therefore, the company wishes to confirm that its CFO, Ben La Grange, remains in his position. Ben La Grange has resigned from his position as CEO of STAR in order to focus solely on his role as CFO of the company at this time.

Caution

Shareholders and other investors in the company are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group. 

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We will exercise caution all right. We simply won’t touch anything that Wiese is involved with. He makes the Guptas look like street vendors.

Is this man-the CFO of a large listed European company unable to publish financial statements the correct person to remain as CFO?

I do not think so-but clearly the asset management industry that holds these shares on investors behalf is too incompetent to say or do anything to dispatch him from the Group.

“In this regard, the company has today received expressions of interest in certain non-core assets that will release a minimum of €1 billion of liquidity.”

Really! who is so naive to believe to think that this will materialize.
We are not that stupid.First tell us what the truth is before you attempt to reinstate trust in management by statements of this nature.

The problem with asset disposal is that so many times the assets land up in the hands of related parties and / or directors hands at a fraction of their value. Take a look at Pinnacle Point, Sharemax and others.

End of comments.

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