Poundland owner's shares collapse following chief executive resignation and accounting probe

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Steinhoff International, which owns the Poundland and Dealz chains, as well as a myriad of other household and general merchandise retail businesses, has said that it has launched an investigation into accounting irregularities within the company.

Shares in the South Africa-based company - predominantly a furniture retailer with operations in 30 countries - tumbled 59% when the Frankfurt stock exchange opened for business on Wednesday.

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 has delayed the publication of its 2017 financial results indefinitely as it investigates what it terms "accounting irregularities".

Steinhoff International's long-standing chief executive has resigned.

Steinhoff has asked accountancy giant PwC to conduct an independent investigation.

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It is not clear if these are the accounting irregularities Steinhoff is referring to in its latest statement. A spokesman declined further comment and attempts by Reuters to contact Jooste were not successful.

Shares in Steinhoff, which is listed in the Netherlands, plummeted nearly 60 per cent in early trading.

In light of the developments at Steinhoff, STAR CEO Ben la Grange has made a decision to step down as CEO of STAR.

Shares in the company, listed in South Africa and Germany, recovered slightly to stand about 52% down. Despite the acquisitions of profitable companies, no loss carry-forwards, the company recorded a very unusual tax rate of circa 15% and also guided that this would be the rate going forward.

With the share price plunge taking the security below the value of the loan, Wiese may be required by the financing banks - Citi, Goldman, HSBC and Nomura - to post more shares as collateral, or sell part of his holding.

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