Belfast Telegraph

Investec warns on Poundland owner exposure

It comes after shares in Steinhoff tanked last week with the firm’s chief executive quitting amid an investigation into accounting irregularities.

Investec has warned that its exposure to Poundland’s South African owner, Steinhoff, could dent profits.

It comes after shares in Steinhoff tanked last week with the firm’s chief executive quitting amid an investigation into accounting irregularities.

Investec said its exposure represents a “small portion of the group’s balance sheet” and it is not “expecting to suffer any losses”.

However, it added: “Investec Bank Limited (South Africa) does have certain derivative exposures linked to the Steinhoff share price, where a trading loss could materialise.

“The loss could be zero but the maximum potential loss could be approximately 3% of the Investec group’s post-tax operating profit.”

Last week Stenihoff announced that chief executive Markus Jooste will resign with immediate effect, adding that information has come to light which “relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation”.

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

The board has appointed Steinhoff’s chairman, South African retail billionaire Christo Wiese, as executive chairman on an interim basis following Mr Jooste’s departure.

As well as Poundland, which it acquired last year for £610 million, Steinhoff is the parent firm of Harveys and Bensons For Beds.

Mr Wiese’s Brait investment group also owns stakes in Virgin Active, New Look and food chain Iceland.

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