By Adria Calatayud
Steinhoff International Holdings NV (SNH.JO) said Friday that a probe into its accounting irregularities has found that former executives inflated profits and asset values over an extended period.
The investigation was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers at the request of the South African retailer's supervisory board. The accounting irregularities were discovered in December 2017.
The PwC probe found that a senior management executive led a scheme in which a small group of former Steinhoff executives and other non-Steinhoff executives structured and implemented various transactions over a number of years which resulted in inflated profits and asset values, the company said.
The company said the PwC report raises serious allegations, in particular against a senior executive. None of the executives identified in the investigation are currently employed by the group, Steinhoff said.
Under the scheme, fictitious and irregular transactions were entered into and fictitious and irregular income was allocated to underperforming Steinhoff units, the company said. Neither Pepkor Europe, Pepkor Holdings Ltd. (PPH.JO) nor any of the other South African operating entities were identified as having received such contributions, Steinhoff said.
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