The recent run in the Steinhoff share price — an 80% jump over a few days, to an eight-month high of R1.62 — has been powered by speculation that the group is in talks to sell its European chain, Pepco, for a cool R86.5bn.

Steinhoff’s head of investor relations, Tyrrel Murray, wouldn’t confirm the speculation, but referred the FM to a "progress update" issued in November, in which Steinhoff was "considering" a range of strategic options for the Pepco group — including a potential public listing...

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