January 22, 2018 / 7:20 AM / 9 months ago

Steinhoff raises £422 million from PSG stake sale

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Steinhoff (SNHJ.J)(SNHG.DE) has raised 7.1 billion rand (£421.5 million) from the sale of a stake in investment firm PSG Group (PSGJ.J), part of the South African retailer’s efforts to plug a liquidity gap.

Steinhoff, owner of more than 40 retail brands including Poundland in Britain, last month admitted “accounting irregularities” which wiped about $15 billion or 85 percent off its market value.

The company’s top two executives have resigned, as well as its chairman, and it is currently being run by an acting chief executive while its former finance chief works full-time on securing financing.

Sources familiar with the matter had told Reuters last month that Steinhoff was considering selling stakes worth a combined $1.4 billion in PSG Group and KAP Industrial (KAPJ.J) to raise much-needed funds.

Steinhoff owns 39 percent of diversified industrial group KAP, which is worth around 22.4 billion rand at current market prices.

Steinhoff said on Monday it had sold about 29.4 million shares in PSG for 240 rand per share to institutional investors in an accelerated bookbuild.

The placing price represented a discount of 5.3 percent to the PSG Group closing price of 253.50 rand on Friday, it said.

Steinhoff, which owned 16 percent of PSG, now owns about 2.5 percent in the firm, which has a total market value of around 60 billion rand. PSG Capital Proprietary Limited and Standard Bank of South Africa acted as joint bookrunners for the placement.

Once the short-term funding issues have been resolved, Steinhoff will have to decide whether asset disposals and refinancings will be enough or whether it will opt for a full-blown debt restructuring.

Roughly 2 billion of Steinhoff’s 10.7 billion euros in debt matures this year.

In a separate development, South Africa’s bourse said on Monday it might suspend trade in Steinhoff bonds if the company’s delayed financial results were not published before the end of February, which could complicate efforts to raise new debt.

Andre Visser, the General Manager of Issuer Regulation, said in an emailed response to Reuters queries that the Johannesburg exchange could suspend trade in the company’s bonds over the delay in publishing the results.

“In terms of the debt listings requirements, they have until 31 January to publish their year-end results. The requirement then provides issuers with an extra month grace period. Failure to publish by the end of February could result in suspension,”

Visser said.

Steinhoff Services Limited is the issuer of the company’s debt and the Business Day newspaper reported on Monday that Steinhoff had 11 bonds listed in Johannesburg with an outstanding value of 6.8 billion rand.

DUTCH COURT DECISION

Steinhoff also said on Monday a court decision on whether to allow an investigation into its accounts was expected to be further delayed until Feb. 19.

A decision by the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal was originally expected by Dec. 22, and had already been delayed once to Jan. 22.

The case relates to a petition made by a former joint venture partner of Steinhoff, and predates the group’s admission to “accounting irregularities”.

The petition was filed by OM Handels GmbH and MW Handels GmbH (OM & MW), owned by the former joint venture partner which has not been identified, and relates to the consolidation of a joint investment in Steinhoff’s books.

Additional reporting by Ed Stoddard and Nqobile Dludla in Johannesburg, Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; Editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman

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