The most important passage in Steinhoff International’s regulatory filing late on Friday was a section attesting that management still believed the retailer was a going concern. A formality for most companies, Steinhoff’s confidence that it can keep the lights on is not self-evident. The acquisitive group’s shares have lost almost all their value and its bonds trade at a steep discount, following a warning of accounting regularities and the resignation of CEO Markus Jooste as its CEO, which triggered a liquidity crisis in December. The new unaudited figures for the six months to March include a shocking €11bn back-dated restatement of shareholders’ equity, including the disclosure that much of the €3bn of cash it reported a year ago didn’t exist (or shouldn’t have been consolidated) and that its profits were overstated by about €1bn. It reported a €600m net loss. It’s a bleak picture for Steinhoff’s new management team as it tries to meet obligations on a €10.6bn debt, recover some ...

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