DGAP-News: Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.
/ Key word(s): Miscellaneous
STEINHOFF – UPDATE ON FORENSIC REPORT RULING
Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. (“Steinhoff” or the “Company””) provides the following update on the court ruling of 10 May 2022 in respect of the forensic report.
Court ruling – Forensic Report
The Western Cape Division of the High Court of South Africa ruled on 10 May 2022 that Steinhoff must supply Tiso Blackstar and amaBhungane with a copy of the PwC report within ten days. The Court found that Steinhoff failed to establish that the report was protected by legal privilege in that Steinhoff already contemplated there would be litigation when the report was commissioned.
After due consideration and taking legal advice on the matter, Steinhoff has filed a notice applying for leave to appeal.
Reasons behind the decision to appeal
The continued protection of the contents of the report remains necessary.
Steinhoff initially instructed Werksmans to appoint PwC to act as an independent investigator and expert in regard to anticipated legal actions both by and against Steinhoff. In the ongoing litigation - principally recovery actions - Steinhoff continues to rely on the report. Steinhoff is prejudiced by the premature disclosure of the contents.
Since the events of December 2017, Steinhoff has willingly co-operated with various regulators and enforcement agencies and necessary access to the report has been given by Steinhoff. Similarly these various regulators and enforcement agencies have an interest in the continued protection of the contents of the report.
In relation to the Court ruling, on 8 December 2017 (three days after Markus Jooste resigned), the Dutch Investors Association ("VEB") sent a demand to Steinhoff which stated that "The VEB wished to enter into consultations with you regarding an amicable settlement, failing which the VEB considers it is free to take legal action against you".
Steinhoff's grounds for appeal include that - the Court having noted the VEB demand - it overlooked the fact and effect of the demand, which Steinhoff contends was clear evidence that litigation was already contemplated when PwC was engaged a short time thereafter. Similarly, Steinhoff contends that the Court should have taken into account evidence presented by Steinhoff as to its intentions and the purpose for which PwC was appointed, and the role that Steinhoff intended PwC was to play.
The Company has a primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and a secondary listing on the JSE Limited.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
23 May 2022
23.05.2022 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
|Company:||Steinhoff International Holdings N.V.|
|cnr Adam Tas and Devon Valley Road|
|Listed:||Regulated Market in Frankfurt (Prime Standard); Regulated Unofficial Market in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Stuttgart, Tradegate Exchange|
|EQS News ID:||1358701|
|End of News||DGAP News Service|