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Wednesday, 26 July 2023 17:41

Steinhoff's shareholders vote to dissolve the company and Jooste loses appeal.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Steinhoff International Holdings shareholders voted to dissolve the scandal-hit global retailer and delist it from the Johannesburg and Frankfurt stock exchanges.

Those who have held stock via listings in Johannesburg or Frankfurt stand to gain little after the creditors who control the company get paid. But outside parties have received $495 million since late 2017, according to annual reports, and managers have also continued to be remunerated.

In 2017, news broke of major accounting irregularities in Steinhoff's financial statements. PwC revealed a $7 billion overstatement of group sales.

The share price plummeted from a peak of R95 per share to R1.26 per share. Shareholders lost billions.

Steinhoff's debt became a major issue, and in the restated 2017 annual report, the company's total liabilities and debt increased dramatically. Its overstated assets were also significantly lowered.

In exchange for delisting and handing over economic control to its creditors, Steinhoff has been granted a three-year debt repayment holiday.

No date has been announced yet for it to stop trading publicly.

Meanwhile Markus Jooste, lost an appeal against the arrest warrant issued by a German court after he failed to show up for trial in the country.

The Higher Regional Court of Oldenburg rejected his challenge on Monday, a tribunal spokeswoman said. Prosecutors had asked for an arrest warrant when Jooste didn't show up for his trial in in April.

Bernd Gross, Jooste's German lawyer, didn't reply to an email seeking comment.

Gross told the court in April that Jooste was unable to travel because he didn’t have access to his passport, under an arrangement with South African authorities.

The judicial authorities in Oldenburg could now seek his extradition from South Africa or ask Interpol for help in the case.