In a shareholder announcement on Thursday morning, the global retailer said that the part of the resolution relating to the proposed additional one-off payments for additional work rendered be deleted.
“The supervisory board members who were to receive these additional payments have requested that such matters are not pursued at the coming AGM. They believe that these matters should be left to a newly constituted supervisory board which will be appointed at the AGM, and specifically its remuneration committee, to resolve at an appropriate time in the future,” it said.
The once-off payments “to cover the additional work undertaken during the period since the accounting irregularities were identified in December 2017” were set to be voted on at Steinhoff’s upcoming AGM. It is set to take place on April 20 in the Netherlands, where Steinhoff’s parent company is registered.
Before the resolution was deleted, Steinhoff shareholders were set to vote on whether supervisory board members Steve Booysen and Heather Sonn would each receive a once-off payment of €200 000, and Johan van Zyl receive €100 000.
These payments were proposed for the “extraordinary time commitments” of the three board members since December 2017, when the group’s former CEO Markus Jooste resigned amid an accounting scandal.
Sonn, the conglomerate’s acting chair, said in a media statement that the decision had been made at the request of the directors concerned. She said they did not want the proposal to detract from “other critical matters that had to be considered at the AGM”.
“There has been a lot of adverse comment and criticism about these proposals, much of it based on a misunderstanding of what was being proposed and why the supervisory board felt the payments were warranted,” she said.
“Shareholders have raised concerns, and the issue threatens to become a distraction when the main objective is maintaining as stable an environment as possible to deliver a controlled restructuring programme in the interest of all stakeholders.”
Shares in the retail giant sank to R3.02 at close of trade on the JSE on Wednesday.
This share price decrease comes a day after Steinhoff announced that the true value of a real estate portfolio owned by one of its European subsidiaries may be R16bn (€1.1bn) less than previously calculated.
This after the Stellenbosch-headquartered conglomerate has said earlier in the week that commercial real estate advisory group CBRE had valued the real estate interests of its subsidiary Hemisphere International Properties at “approximately €1.1bn”.
This is about half the company’s previous estimate of €2.2bn.
Sonn also defended the group’s proposal to retain its long-time auditors Deloitte.
She said the reappointment of the auditors was for the 2018 financial year, which began in October 2017 and ends in September 2018.
“Steinhoff is not opposed to the rotation of auditors, but believes the continuation of Deloitte Accountants BV as auditors until the end of the current financial year in September 2018 is essential,” she said.
“One of the company’s main priorities is the expeditious finalisation of audited consolidated financial statements for the 2017 financial year, and the revised statements for the 2015 and 2016 financial years.
“Deloitte is already involved in these matters, and the appointment of a new auditor midway through a financial year may lead to unacceptable delays in the completion of these statements.” DM
Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?
Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.
Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.
Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.
*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.
Towns near Fukushima are now being plagued by hordes of rampaging radioactive wild boars. Where are Asterix and Obelix when you need them?