Jessica Fino 6 Dec 2017 02:46pm

PwC investigates accounting irregularities at Steinhoff

Poundland-owner Steinhoff International has appointed PwC to conduct an independent review into accounting irregularities

The company announced that new information had emerged which required investigation into accounting irregularities, and said it was unable to publish its financial results as a result.

In the same statement, the South-African retailer also announced that its chief executive Markus Jooste would be leaving the company with immediate effect.

Deloitte is Steinhoff’s current auditor. Deloitte declined to comment due to client confidentially obligations and the ongoing investigations.

Steinhoff said in a statement that it would publish its audited 2017 consolidated financial statements when it is in a position to do so.

The investigation could result in prior years’ financial statements needing to be adjusted.

Jooste has been replaced by the chairman Christo Wiese, who will work as executive chairman on an interim basis. Pieter Erasmus, former CEO of Pepkor Group, also joins in an executive advisory capacity to assist Wiese.

Shares at the retailer plunged as much as 68% following the announcements.

The group holds 6,500 retail outlets and 40 brands worldwide, including Bensons for Beds and Harveys in the UK.