Steinhoff International Holdings (SIHNV) confirmed on Monday that its ‘Section 155 global settlement proposal’ has secured the approval of the Western Cape High Court.
The €1.43 billion (over R24.7 billion) settlement proposal with shareholders follows years of legal disputes (both in South Africa and the Netherlands) in the wake of the Steinhoff accounting scandal in 2017. Steinhoff faced claims of around R180 billion.
With the proposed settlement getting the approval of a high court in South Africa, Steinhoff is a step closer to making the offer final and binding. It has already secured the approval of courts in the Netherlands, where its main headquarters are based.
“SIHPL’s [Steinhoff International Holdings Proprietary Limited’s] application for the approval and sanction of its section 155 proposal [s155 Proposal] was heard today, 24 January 2022 by the Western Cape High Court. At the close of the hearing the court granted SIHPL’s request and granted an order approving and sanctioning the s155 Proposal,” Steinhoff said in a JSE Sens update.
Following receipt of the high court order, Steinhoff noted that the “settlement effective date [referred to under the s155 Proposal and SIHNV’s Composition Plan] is expected to occur on or about 15 February 2022.”
“The implementation of the Global Settlement requires numerous steps to be taken and payments to be made on and around the Settlement Effective Date,” it added.
“SIHNV and SIHPL have undertaken preparations for the co-ordination of the steps required and will separately contact those counterparties who need to take any action [for example, to receive funds and/or PPH shares].
“No actions are currently required by any party prior to the Settlement Effective Date unless specifically requested by Steinhoff and/or its advisers,” the group pointed out.
Steinhoff’s share price closed just over 6% weaker on Monday, at R4.71 on the JSE, valuing the group at just over R21.43 billion.
Listen: Louis du Preez, CEO of Steinhoff, discusses the court-approved R25 billion settlement, and the way forward (or read the transcript)