Dealz parent company Steinhoff International has appointed Richard Heis as chief restructuring officer, as the South African group grapples with the aftermath of its accounting scandal.
Heis previously worked as global head of restructuring at KPMG, based in London, and has 25 years of experience restructuring complex and international groups such as Steinhoff, the company told Reuters.
The South African company owns more than 40 brands, including Dealz in Ireland and Poundland in the UK, and has been wrestling with accounting irregularities leading to plummeting share prices and the resignation of CEO Markus Jooste.
Christo Wiese, the former chairman of the company and one of South Africa's richest men, recently slashed his stake in Steinhoff to 6.2%, after seeing his net worth more than halve to $2.3 billion as the retailer's shares continue to plunge.
The company has been trying to sell assets and secure short-term funds in order to prevent sections of the business from dragging down the international empire, which developed into one of the biggest household goods retailers worldwide.
“We are delighted that Richard has agreed to join the group at this critical time and we are sure that his expertise and experience will bring significant benefit to the group as Steinhoff develops a plan to address the Group’s financial indebtedness,” acting chairwoman, Heather Sonn, said in a statement.
The company said separately that it would hold its annual shareholders’ meeting on 20 April, which will include proposals for the appointment of current acting management board members and the appointment and re-election of members of Steinhoff’s supervisory board.
Steinhoff said that that its financial statements for the year ended 30 September would not be put to shareholders at that meeting, as the investigation by PwC into the accounting issues is still ongoing.
A separate general meeting of shareholders will take place as soon as possible, once the 2017 consolidated accounts have been finalised, the company said on Thursday.
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