Steinhoff is said to consider sale of $907m properties

The properties are held outside European real-estate subsidiary Hemisphere, which is disposing of assets as part of a debt-restructuring deal.
The move represents Steinhoff's latest fund-raising effort to strengthen its financials. Picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Steinhoff International is considering the sale of properties within French furniture chain Conforama, the latest move by the embattled retailer to shore up its balance sheet, according to people familiar with the matter.

The value of the portfolio is about 800 million euros ($907 million), said the people, who asked not to be named as the information isn’t public. The properties are held outside European real-estate subsidiary Hemisphere, which is disposing of assets as part of a debt-restructuring deal, they said.

A spokeswoman for Steinhoff declined to comment.

The move would represent the latest fund-raising effort by the South African retailer, which has been battling for survival since announcing accounting irregularities in December that wiped more than 96% off the share price. Earlier disposals include Austrian furniture retailer Rudolf Leiner GmbH and associated real estate assets, while Steinhoff has also sold down stakes in firms such as Pepkor and KAP Industrial. 

Conforama has about 300 stores, of which two thirds are in France, according to Steinhoff’s most recent presentation to lenders. In January, the unit secured a 115 million-euro, three-year credit facility from Tikehau Capital, securing the firm’s financial independence less than two months after the crisis erupted.

Steinhoff won support from a majority of creditors in July to restructure its 9.4 billion euros of debt, stabilizing its finances. That included an agreement to refinance a 750 million-euro revolving bridge facility at Hemisphere, on condition that an asset disposal plan was set up.

Steinhoff said on Wednesday that sale of property related to Kika-Leiner has reduced the value of the Hemisphere portfolio to about 324 million euros. In April, the division was revalued at about 1.1 billion euros, half the previous book amount.


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Shareholders need to STOP Steinhoff current management from sell assets.

The money will be gone, assets will be gone and within three years there will be nothing but management would have been paid richly.

Shareholders need to apply for liquidation immediately, so these “thieves” are thrown out and independent people are appointed to run Steinhoff

It will be used to settle secured debt…Jooste gone..pretty safe

There is zero chance Jooste acted on his own. Zero. NO assets are safe with the board and management.

Selling assets at a good price is always a good thing, while selling it short is more risky.
Replacing expensive debt with cheaper rental agreement is a less risky option for Steinhoff.
The LUA agreement’s main goal is to avoid selling assets at a fire sale bad price. While with the current restructuring Steinhoff will be, in the next 3 years, seeking buyers for their assets at a good price in order to pay off, renegotiate or replace the more expensive debts, and keep the cheaper debts that Steinhoff can service, while at the same time generating some profit for the shareholders.

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