Steinhoff tanks 57% as CEO leaves amid accounting probe

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It took over Poundland in a £610 million deal in September previous year.

The dramatic sell-off was triggered by the announcement that chief executive Markus Jooste had resigned and "accounting irregularities requiring further investigation" had been uncovered.

It said that it would publish the audited 2017 consolidated financial statements "when it is in a position to do so" and that it would also determine whether any prior years' financial statements would need to be restated.

In its statement the company added: "Shareholders and other investors in Steinhoff are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group".

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Steinhoff's supervisory board has now appointed its chairperson, Christo Wiese, as interim executive chairperson.

Steinhoff is a sprawling corporation which operates approximately 12,000 retail outlets across 30 countries.

As well as furniture and homeware, it also sells products including clothing, footwear and consumer goods. In the United Kingdom, along with Poundland it also owns Bensons for Beds and Harveys.

Ben la Grange, chief executive of Steinhoff African Retail, which owns South Africa's...

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The company said its Supervisory Board, akin to a board of directors for US -based companies, has hired the accounting firm PWC to conduct an independent investigation of its finances.

The Steinhoff holding company is based in Amsterdam for tax reasons and has its primary listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange.

While the company has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by a state prosecutor in Germany since 2015, it is not clear if these are the accounting irregularities the company was referring to in its statement.

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