When it comes to Steinhoff, there is seldom a dull moment. Now is no exception: it is moving towards a separate listing of its African operations, with annual revenue of €5.5bn (R80bn). This will happen in the third quarter of the year. The proposed listing, which will include the raising of an undisclosed amount of new capital, has received a mixed reception from investors. "I feel the investment community is suspicious," says Alec Abraham of Sasfin Securities. Steinhoff’s move to list its African operations separately should not come as a surprise. It is a sequel to the retailer’s failed attempt in December to create a R170bn annual revenue giant, Retail Africa, through the merger of its African operations with those of Shoprite. Though the proposed deal was driven hard by the largest shareholder in Steinhoff and Shoprite, Christo Wiese, it ended in failure in February when agreement could not be reached between the two companies on the share exchange ratio. Wiese has a 23.1% stak...

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