The Steinhoff International Holdings lock-up agreement (LUA), which was released to an unsuspecting public last week, is not for the faint-hearted. It continues the Steinhoff tradition of remarkable complexity overwhelming all but the most determined of analysts. "In the old days [before December 6 2017] trying to understand Steinhoff’s unwieldy structure was a full-time challenge. Now, trying to understand its restructure is almost as challenging," says one weary analyst. At least, however, the 177-page document does help to explain why Steinhoff notched up R5.4m a day in legal and audit fees between December 2017 and end-March. In between the dense legalese two things are made very clear. First, the group is in an incredibly precarious position, and Louis du Preez is pretty much running the restructuring show. Most investors were all too aware of the precarious situation, and over the past few months some may have guessed at Du Preez’s dominant role in looking for a solution. Du P...

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