April 16, 2019 / 7:39 AM / 3 months ago

Steinhoff seeks claimants to reveal identities to negotiate settlements

Two Mattress Firm stores, a brand owned by Steinhoff, lie on either side of the street in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - South African retailer Steinhoff, which has been involved in litigations and claims solutions since revealing accounting irregularities in 2017, requested the identities of its claimants be disclosed in order to conclude claims.

The company said on Tuesday it had requested representatives of claimants to disclose the identity and their current or former shareholdings for “alternative approaches” to conclude claims which could include negotiated settlements.

Former chairman and top shareholder Christo Wiese had said last month he is open to negotiations over a $4 billion claim against the company, days after it revealed the scale of a devastating accounting fraud.

He had said that an independent report had found it overstated profits — which were signed off by Deloitte — over several years in a $7.4 billion fraud involving a small group of top executives and outsiders.

Steinhoff in December 2017 admitted accounting irregularities, erasing about 85 percent of its market value and throwing it into a liquidity crisis.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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