Christo Wiese Sue Embattled Steinhoff For R59bn

PICTURE: Waldo Swiegers

CAPE TOWN: Companies in Christo Wiese’s Titan Group announced on Thursday they are suing embattled retailer Steinhoff for R59bn.

The claims relate to investments made by Wiese’s Titan Group of Companies in Steinhoff in 2015 and 2016, according to a statement issued by the Titan Group.

Companies that make up the group are claiming cancellation of an agreement entered into with Steinhoff in 2015. “Titan Group subscribed for shares in Steinhoff following the acquisition of Pepkor Limited from the shareholders of Pepkor. They now claim repayment of the subscription amount,” the statement read.

“The second claim relates to the Titan Group’s capital injection into Steinhoff in 2016 to enable it to meet its debt obligations at the time of its acquisition of Mattress Firm in the US.”

Wiese resigned as Steinhoff’s chair in mid-December 2017, nine days after the group’s CEO Markus Jooste stepped down amid an accounting scandal.

The Titan Group said that, as part of their summons letter, attorneys acting for Wiese also argued that Steinhoff should be restructured. The group said that, in Wiese’s view, Steinhoff still owned “some excellent businesses most of which Steinhoff acquired from Pepkor in 2015”.

“In a restructured Steinhoff, these businesses have every potential of continuing to create value for all shareholders and claimants,” said Wiese, according to the statement.

Steinhoff did not immediately responds to a request for comment.