Steinhoff. Picture: BLOOMBERG/DWAYNE SENIOR
Steinhoff. Picture: BLOOMBERG/DWAYNE SENIOR

Steinhoff is on track to begin implementing its much-anticipated restructuring programme in late October, the company said on Friday.

The group’s Asia-Pacific operation is negotiating a long-term debt facility of A$200m — A$250m to help refinance its existing working capital facilities.

Friday’s announcement, the first monthly progress report, was made in line with obligations Steinhoff had given to its international creditors in the lock-up agreement that was finalised on July 20.

Steinhoff and two of its key subsidiaries, Steinhoff Finance Holdings (SFH) and Steinhoff Europe AG (SEAG), were working closely with various creditor advisers that were undertaking the preparatory steps necessary for implementation of the restructuring, the group said.

"The company, SFH and SEAG and certain of their creditors have attended various meetings in London with a view to preparing such documents and progressing those steps as well as to identify opportunities to rationalise the group’s European structure and implement the various corporate governance changes … [as per] LUA [lock-up agreement]," Steinhoff said.

In early August SEAG and SFH relocated their head offices from Austria to the UK head office of Steinhoff UK.

A governance working group has been established in line with undertakings contained in the lock-up agreement, which were designed to address creditors’ concerns about the corporate governance failures behind the group’s existential crisis. The working group is setting up a litigation committee, which will comprise Steinhoff’s COO Louis du Preez and two representatives from Steinhoff’s supervisory board and recently appointed Peter Wakkie, as well as Paul Copley, whose nomination to the board has to be confirmed by shareholders.

crottya@bdfm.co.za

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