An investigation on the Steinhoff Scandal is currently underway by German authorities under accusations of irregularities in the balance sheets. The investigation has caused a severe effect on the firm and has cost one of South Africa’s tycoon and main shareholder, Christo Wiese of his billionaire status. Within 48 hours of the scandal, Wiese plummeted from being of the richest South Africans to with the previously estimated worth of $5.8 billion down to roughly $728 million. Wiese was required to come back for everyday operations after getting involved as an interim CEO right after Markus Jooste, Chief Executive of Steinhoff resigned.
Wiese had a better chance of being more secure from the impact of the scandal than the pensions of thousands of South Africans that were exposed to the Steinhoff shares. Public Investment Corporation is the second largest shareholder to the company. South Africa’s finance minister requested a report on the potential impacts on the retirement funds from the scandal to be handled by the country’s regulator, the Financial Services Board.
The change of events follows a blunt similarity to an incident that happened to Steinhoff in 2016 when the firm attempted to acquired Shoprite which is Africa’s largest grocery chain, where the plan was to combine both of Wiese’s investments to create Retail Africa. Not long after that in the same year, Steinhoff acquired Mattress Firm Holdings Corp, which brought the firm to join the US market and continue to spread internationally by acquiring Poundland U.K.
The merge with Steinhoff and Shoprite collapsed in February of 2017 after investors were uncertain about the whole aspect of it.Being an international company from South Africa, primary listings linked to Steinhoff in Frankfurt lost 40% of its share value as well after the scandal emerged in the Steinhoff news