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Shares in the owner of Poundland fell by 60 per cent after it announced a probe into accounting irregularities and that the chief executive had unexpectedly tendered his resignation.
Martin Jooste announced his resignation with immediate effect last night after the company announced that “new information has come to light” relating to “accounting irregularities requiring further investigation”.
Steinhoff’s board said it had appointed PwC to launch an independent investigation. It has also advised its shareholders and other investors to “exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group”, but a panicked sell-off has already caused the business’s market cap to more than halve.
The group’s brands include Bensons for Beds and Harveys in the UK, Conforama in Europe, Pep and Ackermans in South Africa and Snooze in Australia.
Poundland is headquartered in Willenhall, while Benson for Beds and Harveys are based in Cheltenham.