TAKING OFF: Inside the cockpit of a Gulfstream 550. PICTURE: NILS WEYMANN/123RTF
TAKING OFF: Inside the cockpit of a Gulfstream 550. PICTURE: NILS WEYMANN/123RTF

Johannesburg — Steinhoff International Holdings, the global retailer fighting to recover from an accounting scandal, transferred the registration of its luxury Gulfstream 550 private jet to a US aircraft broker as it seeks to boost liquidity.

The plane, with serial number 5113, was registered to Annapolis, Maryland-based Avpro on January 12, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration’s online records.

The luxuriously appointed 2006 Gulfstream has been valued at almost $25m and was bought by Steinhoff in April. It’s capable of 12-hour non-stop flights and is certified for 16 passengers.

Steinhoff put the plane up for sale shortly after the owner of Mattress Firm in the US and Poundland in the UK announced last month that it had uncovered accounting irregularities that knocked almost 90% off Steinhoff’s share price.

The aircraft was advertised for $24.8m in 2016 and the sales brochure showed the interior fitted out in cream leather seating, wood paneling and a marble-and-brass bathroom.

Avpro hasn’t yet listed the jet for re-sale, according to the records on its website. The transfer of the aircraft comes at the same time that Steinhoff’s former CEO Markus Jooste is trying to sell a sprawling Western Cape residence with vineyards and space for 10 horses for R15m, 43% more than he paid for it two years ago.

A spokesperson for the retailer didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. A call and e-mails to Avpro in the US weren’t answered outside business hours.

With assistance from Loni Prinsloo and Janice Kew

Bloomberg

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