Retail

Steinhoff Says Immediate Liquidity Needs 'Largely Addressed'

By Publications Checkout
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Steinhoff International said it has secured enough money to keep its businesses running in the immediate term and can now start talks with a broader group of creditors.

The troubled South African retail group has arranged new credit lines for units in the UK, US and France, as well as agreeing a restructuring of its Austrian division, it said in a presentation published on its website.

The announcement came after a meeting with creditors in London on Friday to discuss progress stabilising the business since it uncovered accounting irregularities on 5 December.

The company has also agreed with its South African lenders to repay €200 million owed to entities outside the country. That repayment will be funded with proceeds from the sale of shares in financial services firm PSG Group, the firm said.

It also confirmed it’s seeking to redeem all of the debt of its South African holding companies, and 8 billion rand of bonds.

Accounting Investigation

An investigation by PricewaterhouseCoopers into Steinhoff’s accounts is ongoing, the company said. It plans to restate its financial results going back as far as 2015, and will provide a trading update on the last three months of 2017 in the last week of February.

Steinhoff’s shares gained as much as 8.5% on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange on Friday after the presentation.

Steinhoff said on Friday its UK unit has raised £260 million, an increase from the £180 million of new funding announced on 3 January.

Its French division Conforama will start drawing on a €115 million asset-backed loan on Monday and will receive €79 million from the sale of its stake in Showroomprive.

Its US business Mattress Firm arranged a $75 million senior secured asset-backed revolving credit facility in December. Austrian unit Kika Leiner also agreed a restructuring plan on Wednesday. Steinhoff’s Asia-Pacific businesses remain in talks with banks to secure more funding by mid-February.

News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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