The Western Cape High Court has prevented Steinhoff and its subsidiary, Pepkor Holdings, from selling or dealing in the shares of shoe retailer Tekkie Town, in a ruling handed down on Tuesday.

The previous owners of Tekkie Town, led by founder Braam van Huyssteen approached the court for an interdict in April 2019 seeking to prevent Steinhoff and any of its subsidiaries from dealing in the shares of Tekkie Town until such a time as the litigation they had previously instituted to recover Tekkie Town is heard.

Van Huyssteen and a group of investors sold Tekkie Town to Steinhoff in 2016 in exchange for restricted shares in the furniture retailer.

But, following revelations of accounting irregularities which would later be quantified by the company as inflating  income and assets up to R105bn, Van Huyssteen took action to recover the business he considers was stolen from him.

“In my view the applicants made a proper case for both urgency and the harm they seek to prevent,” said Judge Nathan Erasmus when handing down judgment.

The order in effect preserves Tekkie Town in its current corporate form and prevents any sale or cession of its shares by its current owners until the courts have resolved the issue of contested ownership.

 “We have always been focused on restoring our interest in the business and growing it in the way we always had — without debt and one store at a time,” says Van Huyssteen, and says he remains open to discussing options with Steinhoff regarding the equitable return of the business to himself and the other former shareholders.

Pepkor has previously stated that it had no intention of selling Tekkie Town and it remains a core part of its retail portfolio.