Business Maverick


Steinhoff investors throw in the towel, while Markus Jooste suffers blow in German court

Steinhoff investors throw in the towel, while Markus Jooste suffers blow in German court
Illustrative image | Former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach) | A Steinhoff International Holdings logo in Stellenbosch, 2016. (Photo: Waldo Swiegers / Bloomberg via Getty Images) | (Nadine Hutton / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Authorities in Germany are now likely to seek Jooste’s extradition from South Africa or enlist Interpol support in the case.

Steinhoff is done for. Shareholders on Wednesday voted to dissolve the company and delist from the Frankfurt and Johannesburg stock exchanges. The announcement follows a report that the architect of Steinhoff’s demise, Markus Jooste, has lost his appeal in Germany against his arrest warrant.

Authorities in Oldenburg are now likely to seek Jooste’s extradition from South Africa or enlist Interpol support in the case, Bloomberg reported.

The warrant of arrest was issued for Jooste, the former CEO of the scandal-hit retailer Steinhoff International Holdings NV after he failed to show up for trial at a German court in April.

At the time, his lawyer Bernd Gross told the court that Jooste’s passport had been retained by South African authorities, which prevented him from travelling for the court appearance.

The Higher Regional Court of Oldenburg rejected his appeal, a tribunal spokeswoman told Bloomberg.

Gross failed to reply to an email seeking comment.

Shareholders, who had little choice in the matter, are the last in line to gain anything, once the lawyers and advisers take their cut. Outside parties have received €447-million (R8.7-billion) since late 2017, and managers have continued to be remunerated.

In March, Steinhoff launched a Dutch restructuring plan, leaving shareholders high and dry.

Early last month, a Dutch court confirmed Steinhoff’s plan to delist.

At the end of June, the troubled retailer announced it would be delisted from the JSE and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, and ownership would move from shareholders to creditors, which are mostly hedge funds.

The South African Reserve Bank recently froze billions of rands in Steinhoff accounts. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Well, I for one won’t shed a tear.

  • David Katz says:

    Germany still has rule of law. You can’t buy endless delays like in SA. He is a criminal – he should have been in a South African prison years ago. Many people’s pensions were severely impacted by the losses their funds experienced. White corporate South Africa as corrupt as the government.

  • nhg says:

    that thieving crook belongs in jail! i personally was not invested with him/Steinhoff, but my 2 children each lost about R70k! they are kids!!!!! don’t let me come face to face with him!!!

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