Steinhoff under fire as Germans extend criminal probe, unions picket AGM | Fin24
 
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Steinhoff under fire as Germans extend criminal probe, unions picket AGM

Apr 20 2018 11:59
Jan Cronje

Cape Town - Trade union federation Fedusa wants to see Steinhoff appoint a new board at its Annual General Meeting on Friday, saying new directors are needed to take the embattled retailer forward. 

Meanwhile, German media reported on Friday that German authorities were expanding their investigation in the firm. As Fin24 previously reported, the public prosecutor's office of Oldenburg is investigating possible accounting irregularities and fraud at Steinhoff.

The investigation is difficult as most of the documents the authorities are investigating are in English, reported the financial site Handelsblatt. 

The Stellenbosch-headquartered retail conglomerate is holding its AGM in the Netherlands on Friday afternoon. Labour groups Fedusa, Cosas and the Public Servants Association were on Friday picketing at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, where the meeting will be  live-streamed. 

The federation's general secretary Dennis George said on Friday morning that the directors who oversaw Steinhoff over the past few years cannot be expected to extricate themselves from the accounting scandal that has caused its share price to plunge by over 95% in four months.

Fedusa does not have voting rights for the AGM. But it will be represented at the meeting by the Public Investment Corporation, which manages the assets of the Government Employees Pension Fund. 

At Friday's AGM, the retailer's leadership is expected to update shareholders on what actions it has taken since December regarding liquidity concerns, corporate governance, and business strategies. 

The composition of a new supervisory board will be voted on and shareholders have a role in deciding who the firm's auditors will be. 

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fedusa  |  steinhoff  |  protests  |  accounting fraud  |  retail
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