27 February 2019

South Africa: Steinhoff Expects to Soon Receive Long-Awaited PwC Forensic Report

Photo: Steinhoff
(file photo)

Fourteen months after it was hired to conduct an independent forensic investigation into Steinhoff, PwC is expected to soon submit its long-awaited report to the company's leadership.

PwC was hired by the Stellenbosch-headquartered furniture and household goods conglomerate to scrutinize its books in the wake of the abrupt resignation of Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste in December 2017 after the group's auditors flagged accounting irregularities.

The findings of the forensic probe were initially expected to be handed to Steinhoff leadership in December 2018, but this was delayed until February 2019. The work was "significantly more complex than initially anticipated, with multiple workstreams operating across a number of jurisdictions" Steinhoff said in a market update last year.

PwC has not publicly commented on the content of the report.

A Steinhoff spokesperson said in an email on Tuesday that the PwC investigation is expected to be complete by the end of February.

"The company anticipates providing the market with an overview of PwC's findings after it has had time to review the full final report."

"This overview will ensure that the legally privileged nature of the report is not undermined and its position in the various pending legal and other proceedings is not jeopardized."

Shares in Steinhoff have plunged by over 90% since Jooste resigned and PwC was retained to conduct the investigation, shrinking its market capitalisation by about R200bn.

Its shares were trading at R2.15 at close of trade on Tuesday.

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