Hawks probing three more Steinhoff executives, say sources
Sources claim former head of finance in Europe Dirk Schreiber, former CFO Ben la Grange and former company secretary Stehan Grobler are being probed
Steinhoff International Holdings has provided the Hawks with information about a set of transactions involving three more former executives who may have contributed to its accounting crisis, two people familiar with the matter said.
The owner of Conforama in France and Poundland in the UK has already referred former CEO Markus Jooste for his role in the scandal, which has wiped 96% off the market value. Now Dirk Schreiber, a German national who was head of finance in Europe, can be added to the list, said the people, asking not to be named because the information is private.
Former CFO Ben la Grange and former company secretary Stehan Grobler complete the quartet, they said.
Details of the four former executives’ alleged involvement in events leading up to a failure to report audited results for 2017 have emerged during an ongoing investigation by PwC, the people said. Three more as-yet-unidentified individuals may also be reported, according to one of the people.
PwC’s forensic report into the accounts is due to be completed by the end of 2018. Once the findings of the report have been published, formal charges may proceed against anyone implicated in wrongdoing, a Hawks spokesperson said.
Schreiber did not respond to requests for comment. Grobler declined to comment on his referral, citing confidentiality agreements. La Grange said he has not been informed that Steinhoff has given his name to the Hawks and so cannot comment.
Neither Jooste nor his lawyer responded to a message seeking comment.
Steinhoff said while it had handed a report to the Hawks in August requesting that the police investigate a set of transactions, no complaint was made against any individual.
“Any speculation [about] the names and the number of names included in the report is just that,” a Steinhoff spokesperson said in an e-mailed response to questions.