Steinhoff International Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer Marcus Jooste resigned with immediate effect after the global furniture and clothing retailer reported irregularities in its accounts that require further investigation, according to Fin24.
It says South African billionaire and chairperson of the company, Christo Wiese, will run the company on a temporary basis.
Moneyweb reports that Steinhoff’s share price fell by 51.81% at 9:25 to R22/share during Wednesday’s intra-day trade, wiping out R93 billion from its market capitalisation.
Steinhoff previously rebuffed claims made by German magazine, Manager-Magazin, of investigations into employees by German state prosecutors.
The magazine said in raids in the offices of the Steinhoff Europe headquarters in Westerstede and in the private homes of two Steinhoff confidants, the investigators provided documents allegedly signed by Andreas Seifert, co-managing director of the furniture chain XXXLutz. Seifert told Manager Magazin that he had “never seen the papers before and not signed them”. He filed criminal charges for document forgery.
The Steinhoff Group employs more than 130,000 people on five continents. In the first six months of the current fiscal year, the company’s financial position has worsened. The operating profit margin fell from 11.6 to 8.8 percent. Net debt increased from 2.9 to 6.5 billion euros. Up until August, the stock market’s stock price has already plummeted. It fell by more than nine percent after news of the Manager Magazin’s investigation into Jooste.