Steinhoff, the South African retail giant, saw its chairman quit on Thursday evening after the group said that it would need to reissue the company’s financial figures for 2016.
The retail giant said that Christo Wiese, the tycoon and major shareholder, had offered to step down in order to bolster the independent governance of the company and that the supervisory board accepted his offer “to address any possible conflict of interest that may exist.”
Jacob, Wiese’s son, has also stepped down from his position on the board, while Heather Sonn, a member of the supervisory board, will take over as the acting chairperson.
The embattled conglomerate, which owns Bensons for Beds and Poundland in the United Kingdom, has been thrown into turmoil after admitting to irregularities in accounting. Markus Jooste, The firm’s chief executive, immediately resigned after the announcement, and shares dropped by 90 percent.
In a statement, the company stated that there were “issues concerning the validity and recoverability of certain Steinhoff Europe balance sheet assets” that must be considered, and that the financial statements that were issued for 2016 were no longer reliable.
The share price of Steinhoff was down by 13.4 percent at the close on the Frankfurt stock exchange.
The retail conglomerate has hired Moelis & Company and AlixPartners to assist it in navigating its accounting irregularities.
AlixPartners will advise on the operations of Steinhoff, while Moelis & Company is in charge of discussions with lenders.