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Steinhoff Africa Retail Plans To Change Name To Pepkor

Published on Jun 17 2018 10:00 AM in Retail tagged: Trending Posts / South Africa / Steinhoff International / Steinhoff Africa Retail

Steinhoff Africa Retail Plans To Change Name To Pepkor

South Africa's Steinhoff Africa Retail (STAR) plans to change its name to Pepkor Holdings Limited to help distance itself from scandal-hit parent company Steinhoff International.

Steinhoff International has been fighting for survival after it discovered accounting irregularities in December which sent shares in both companies tumbling and sparked panic about the credibility of STAR's own accounts.

Representative Of Group

STAR, which previously said it was financially independent of Steinhoff, said its Pepkor business contributes the majority of the firm's revenue and operating profit and is representative of the group.

"The Pepkor brand and its related brands have an incredible legacy and history of success," said STAR in a statement.

Shares in STAR, which runs Africa's biggest apparel discount chain Pep, rose 2.5% to 17.78 rand by 1427 GMT Friday.

Wiese Lawsuit

Businessman Christo Wiese, who turned Pepkor into Africa's biggest clothing retailer, stunned Steinhoff in April with a $5 billion lawsuit that relates to a 2016 capital injection to pay debt and fund the acquisition of the US company Mattress Firm and an acquisition by Steinhoff of Pepkor in 2015.

Wiese was chairman and biggest shareholder in Steinhoff until December last year.

STAR raised 16 billion rand from local financial institutions last month to repay shareholder loans provided by Steinhoff as part of STAR's listing in September 2017.

Steinhoff, which owns Poundland in Britain, Mattress Firm in the United States and Conforama in France, spun off STAR in August last year to get a higher rating for its developed market businesses and to give investors keen on exposure to Africa a chance to invest in STAR directly.

Steinhoff retains a 71% stake in STAR, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.

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

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