Johannesburg, South Africa, 8 August, 2018

Steinhoff accounting irregularities: South African class action filed against Steinhoff, Deloitte, ABSA Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Commerzbank, PSG Capital, current and ex-directors of Steinhoff, and others to compensate Steinhoff investors regarding the €12 billion (ZAR 185 billion) in shareholder value destroyed by the various defendants.

A prospective class action proceeding has been filed today at the High Court in Johannesburg, South Africa concerning the destruction of over €12 billion (ZAR 185 billion) in shareholder value resulting from the long-running accounting irregularities at Steinhoff.

The lawsuit names as defendants Dutch incorporated Steinhoff International Holdings N.V., its South African predecessor Steinhoff International Holdings (Pty) Ltd., ABSA bank, Germany’s Commerzbank AG, UK-based bank Standard Chartered Bank, auditors Deloitte and Rödl & Partner, and many implicated board members. Among the named defendants are former CEO of Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd. and Steinhoff International Holdings, N.V., Markus Johannes Jooste, former CFO Ben la Grange and ex-Chairman and South African billionaire Christoffel Hendrik Wiese.

The South African class action seeks to recover shareholder losses of over €12 Billion (approx. 185 Billion Rand). The plaintiff who commenced the class action is being represented by the leading South African litigation firm, LHL Attorneys Inc. and has the backing of the Foundation Steinhoff International Compensation Claims, an initiative of institutional investors seeking a comprehensive, cross-jurisdictional recovery of losses suffered as a result of investments in various Steinhoff securities. The lawsuit brings claims on behalf of all investors who purchased Steinhoff shares in the period from at least June 26, 2013 to December 5, 2017.

“Steinhoff has operated and continues to operate in and out of South Africa. Steinhoff’s shares pre-December 2015 were listed on the JSE and its post-December 2015 shares are registered and traded on both the JSE and FSE. Thousands of South African shareholders have been affected by the defendants’ conduct, including the largest pension fund in South Africa, so it was a logical decision to commence this true opt-out class action proceeding here in South Africa”, explains Zain Lundell, of LHL Attorneys.

“South Africa has a well-established and reliable legal system with favourable legislation that we believe will allow aggrieved investors to be fairly compensated for their losses. Moreover, South Africa’s true opt-out class action procedure is superior to the proceedings available in the Netherlands and Germany and, thus, will contribute to the protection of all shareholders, large and small alike,” continued Mr. Lundell.

As part of its global efforts to recover investor losses, Foundation Steinhoff International Compensation Claims notes that it has signed up many large and small investors and will support the class action in South Africa as part of these efforts. While the South African class action proceeding is an essential element of the global investors’ loss recovery efforts of the Foundation Steinhoff International Compensation Claims, it will also monitor developments in other jurisdictions and is ready to act in all other relevant venues affected by the Steinhoff scandal, in particular the Netherlands and Germany. For this purpose, Bynkershoek Dispute Resolution, a Dutch law firm specialized in shareholder disputes, and Germany’s leading capital markets law and securities litigation firm TILP have been appointed as its representatives.

On December 19, 2017, TILP was the first firm globally to initiate shareholder litigation against Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. by submitting a complaint to the Regional Court of Frankfurt, which included a petition to handle the litigation as model proceedings matter under the German Capital Markets Model Case Act (KapMuG).

Contact: LHL Attorneys – info@lhllaw.co.za