Steinhoff to Propose Financing Waivers, Scrap Interim Dividend Amid Debt Crisis
By Adam Clark
Steinhoff International Holdings NV (SNH.JO) said on Friday that it intends to recommend waivers for defaults under some of its financing arrangements and scrap its interim dividend.
The embattled South African retailer said it hopes the waivers will create a window of stability until the end of June, in order to focus on the performance of its individual businesses and the development of a strategic plan.
Steinhoff said it has now largely addressed the near-term liquidity requirements of a number of its units, and is now looking to address its debt.
In December, Steinhoff hired accountancy firm PwC to conduct an independent investigation into accounting irregularities. The company has since said that it needs to restate its 2015 and 2016 financial results, and has yet to release its 2017 results.
On Friday, Steinhoff said its proposals will include a waiver for possible defaults related to the postponement of the publication of its financial 2017 results. Steinhoff said it continues to expect to be able to pay cash interest on all its debt in the near-term, although this "remains under constant review".
The company said it will seek responses to the waiver proposals in the coming weeks and that it is "confident" it will receive support from its finance providers, but warned there can be no assurance of an agreement.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, South Africa's Financial Services Board, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission are all investigating Steinhoff.
The company is also facing a probe in Germany, where it moved its primary listing to in late 2015, amid allegations management used off-balance-sheet entities to hide losses in its operations and artificially pump up its valuation.
Write to Adam Clark at email@example.com; @AdamDowJones
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 02, 2018 07:34 ET (12:34 GMT)Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.