High Street

Steinhoff confirms refinancing after accounting ‘scandal’

Poundland owner Steinhoff has confirmed refinancing of €9bn (£8.3bn) of debt after the company was involved in an accounting ‘scandal’ over the last few years.

The group announced this in its half year report, where European revenue rose by 13% to €1.7bn (£1.57bn) for the period up to 31 March 2019.

Accounting ‘irregularities’ were first found in December 2017, leading to the loss of over £5.7bn through suspected accounting fraud.

Its Steinhoff Europe AG (SEAG) and Steinhoff Finance Holding GmbH (SFHG) operations had entered into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) with its creditors last year, in order to restructure. Confirmation of CVAs agreements were confirmed by the company today (14 August).

SEAG’s €5.6bn (£5.19bn) of debt, plus around €2.8bn (£2.59bn) from SFHG and a further €400,000 (£370,000) from another business has been reissued with maturities from December 2021 and no cash interest payments.

Louis du Preez, CEO said: “The months of hard work on the financial restructuring have today come to fruition. Implementation of the Restructuring is a major milestone on our recovery journey, bringing with it the stability that will allow us to turn the page and concentrate fully on maximising value from our operating companies.

“The company wishes to express its gratitude to its stakeholders for their support throughout the restructuring. The company remains committed to improving the performance of its operational businesses across the Group, reducing its debt, resolving the legal claims against it and delivering value for its stakeholders.”

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