Poundland has distanced itself from owner Steinhoff as an accounting scandal threatens to derail the South African investment firm.
Steinhoff has lost two chief executives this month amid a fraud scandal which has seen shares crash more than 87 per cent, wiping £7.5billion off its value.
Yesterday, the Stellenbosch-headquartered company warned investors it is losing support from its banks because of the crisis.
Poundland owner Steinhoff has lost two chief executives this month amid a fraud scandal which has seen shares crash more than 87%, wiping £7.5bn off its value.
Steinhoff bought the High Street budget retailer for £597million in 2016, and the crisis engulfing it has led to questions about the bargain chain’s 802 UK stores and 18,000 staff.
But in a letter to workers, bosses Sean Cardinaal and Barry Williams insisted Poundland remains a successful business – regardless of problems with its parent firm.
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Struggling British bedroom furniture chain Feather & Black has been rescued by a Swedish multinational.
Hilding Anders, a manufacturer of beds, yesterday bought the business – saving 104 of 123 jobs and 17 of its 20 stores. It collapsed last month, with Duff & Phelps appointed administrators but the firm continuing to trade. Its demise was blamed partly on the squeeze on spending with shoppers not buying more expensive items such as furniture.
Pepyn Dinandt, chairman and chief executive of Hilding Anders, said the firm would still trade under the name Feather & Black.
They said: ‘We’re confident once insurers fully understand our position – trading strongly and independent of Steinhoff – they will be able to offer additional reassurance to our suppliers.’
They added they are still excited about Poundland’s future. ‘Nothing that’s happening thousands of miles away in South Africa will change that,’ they said.
Steinhoff has £15billion of debt, with private investors and a string of global banks including Goldman Sachs and HSBC braced for heavy losses.
It has promoted chief operating officer Danie van der Merwe to chief executive.
He replaces Christo Wiese, the largest shareholder, who has quit as the scandal grew.
Wiese replaced Markus Jooste who stood down when news of the accounting irregularities first surfaced.
German prosecutors launched a fraud investigation into the business at the start of the month.
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