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Dutch authority investigating Deloitte's Steinhoff audit

Dec 22 2017 18:25

Cape Town - The DA welcomes an investigation in the Netherlands into Deloitte for its role in the audit of global retail giant Steinhoff International [JSE:SNH].

According to DA MP David Maynier, the investigation is by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).

Steinhoff's share price declined sharply since former CEO Markus Jooste announced at the beginning of December that its audited year-end results had been delayed. Jooste resigned with immediate effect amid suspected accounting irregularities.

Shortly thereafter, Steinhoff announced that its 2016 financials would need to be restated as well. The company said in a note to shareholders that, on the advice of the independent committee of the Supervisory Board, it has formed the view that issues concerning the validity and recoverability of certain Steinhoff Europe balance sheet assets under scrutiny in the 2017 audit are also relevant to the 2016 consolidated financial statements.

The share price dropped from R46.25 to R8.90 at the time. On Friday late afternoon it was trading at R4.68.

Maynier said in a statement on Friday that he was informed by Martijn Duffels, a senior supervision officer, audit and reporting, that AFM has decided to launch an investigation into the role of Deloitte in the audit of the financial statements of Steinhoff. 

On December 7 this year Maynier requested the regulators in three jurisdictions, including the Dutch AFM, the Auditor Oversight Body in Germany and the Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors in South Africa to investigate the role of Deloitte in the audit of the financial statements of Steinhoff.   

"We need to know whether Deloitte turned a blind eye to accounting irregularities at Steinhoff," said Maynier.

"In the end, we need to be tough on crime in the public sector, and tough on crime in the private sector."

He wants to ensure that it is established whether there were any accounting irregularities at Steinhoff - both abroad and in SA.

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