Steinhoff shares crawl back after new CEO and Chairman named

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Steinhoff crisis

Steinhoff’s shares have bounced back slightly after it appointed a new chief executive in the wake of two bosses suddenly resigning this month.

The South African retail conglomerate – which owns discount retailer Poundland and furniture retailers Bensons for Beds and Harveys in the UK – is currently dealing with an accounting scandal that caused its share to fall 88 per cent since the end of November, wiping off around £9 billion of its value.

However, the shares recovered by more than 10 per cent today after the company promoted chief operating officer Daniel Maree van de Merwe as its new chief executive, and hired Heather Sonn as acting chair.

It comes after Christo Wiese quit his role as chairman on Thursday, just days after Markus Jooste stepped down as chief executive.

Jooste’s resignation was prompted after Steinhoff appointed PwC to investigate accounting irregularities in its annual report.

Since then, in addition to its share values being wiped, Steinhoff’s credit rating has been downgraded and its 2016 financial results have been delayed due to the need to restate it as a result of inaccuracies.

Wiese stepped down as chairman in an effort to reinforce independent governance and restore confidence and trust in Steinhoff.

Despite the new leaders, Bensons for Beds and Harveys today had their credit cover cut, according to Retail Week.

Yesterday, employees at Steinhoff’s main UK fascia Poundland were reportedly sent a memo assuring them that the retailer was still performing well financially despite the accounting scandal.

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