Steinhoff’s accounting scandal has now seen its share prices drop 88 per cent, forcing the retail giant to shore up debt and recover assets.
The South African company, which counts Poundland amid its extensive retail portfolio, is thought to have seen £9 billion wiped off its market value.
This follows a steep downgrading of its share rating by Moody’s to junk on Thursday, after its chief executive Marcus Joost resigned with immediate effect amid the discovery of “accounting irregularities”.
Steinhoff revealed it was looking at raising funds by selling off assets of €1 billion while considering the recoverability of €6 billion worth of non-South African assets.
The Financial Services Board (FSB) has also launched an independent probe into potentially misleading financial reports.
Shareholders are reportedly considering their positions as Steinhoff’s reputation continues to divebomb.
“There’s no way back,” said David Shapiro, the deputy chairman of Sasfin Wealth in Johannesburg.
“The worry is that there are a huge number of operating companies within the stable – if you were a supplier to these businesses would you sell goods on credit?
“I reckon they should file for Chapter 11 or business rescue and try and salvage what they can.”
South Africa’s finance minister Malusi Gigaba stated that many people’s retirement funds and savings may have been hit by the collapse and has called for a report into the extent of the potential damage to be created.