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Steinhoff sells auto showrooms unit to France’s CFAO

An agreement was reached to sell a 75% stake in Unitrans to French distribution company CFAO.
Steinhoff's Unitrans is being sold to CFAO, part of Japanese conglomerate Toyota Tsusho Corp. Picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Steinhoff has sold a majority stake in its South African auto dealerships unit, it said on Thursday, days after selling its stake in a local industrial group to shore up its finances following a devastating accounting fraud.

Steinhoff revealed details earlier this month of the 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) fraud that has shocked investors and left the retail group scrambling for working capital.

The company said it had reached an agreement to sell a 75% stake in Unitrans, which runs one of South Africa‘s largest auto showrooms and a network of trucks dealerships with annual sales of more than R23 billion ($1.6 billion).

Unitrans is being sold to French distribution company CFAO, part of Japanese conglomerate Toyota Tsusho Corp, Steinhoff said, without giving financial details of the deal.

Steinhoff raised R4.8 billion from the sale of its 26% stake in KAP Industrial to pay off debt and bolster its finances. It has also sold stakes in South African investment firm PSG Group, French online retailer Showroomprive.com, and a property in Austria. 

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Not sure, but was it not reported by Steinhoff that all Operating Units (businesses) were self funded? If so, why now does Steinhoff state as per above article, “to shore up finances”?

Secondly, didn’t Steinhoff most recently get a dividend payout from Pepkor….. and what about all the other dividends from all the other business?

Thirdly, Steinhoff has Debt Standstill Agreements in place with creditors, so why the need to raise more cash by selling assets?

Must be that there is “new” debt being incurred by way of legal bills, PWC Report, HQ staff costs, salary bonuses, etc which are arising at HQ which is non profit generating to the Group….

There is “no light at end of the tunnel”.

In short.

They will fund working capital and European operations. Basically the SENS states that the SARB has inadvertently allowed funds to be moved offshore to find euro ops.

Great news.

End of comments.

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