Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

The share price of Steinhoff International declined a further 2.22% to R5.28 on Wednesday, with shares in the embattled global retailer having now lost almost a quarter of their value so far in February.

This has brought Steinhoff’s market capitalisation to R22bn, less than a third of Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star), of which Steinhoff holds just over 75%.

Analysts say it is impossible to gauge Steinhoff’s share value, pending further clarity on several probes into accounting irregularities and as the market awaits restated results for the 2017 and 2016 financial years.

News last week that Christo Wiese had reduced his stake in Steinhoff from 21% to 6.2% appeared to spook Steinhoff investors, with reports suggesting the sale had been forced upon Wiese by his lenders.

Steinhoff’s share price jumped 47.1% in January, when the company secured support from lenders, allowing it to maintain liquidity in its European businesses.

Steinhoff’s share price also recovered slightly after it told the market that immediate operational liquidity requirements had largely been managed, with the company adding that the refinancing of its South African debt would free up further funds.

Steinhoff, however, faced a litany of short-, medium-and long-term risks, said independent retail analyst Syd Vianello. Notable among these were class action lawsuits.

Any cash calls from lenders could force Steinhoff to offload additional assets, such as Star.

The South African Reserve Bank, however, had the right to prevent Steinhoff from transferring the proceeds of any sale in Star overseas.

"I don’t think anybody has any idea of what the bottom line is," said Vianello.

"And until we have clarity on the extent of the damage to the bottom line, the share price should remain range bound," he said.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za