Shares in global retailer crash almost 70% after CEO resigns

A Steinhoff International Holdings NV logo sits on display outside the company's offices in Stellenbosch South Africa on Wednesday Aug. 17 2016. Acquisitions including Pepkor Holdings Pty Ltd. and French furniture chain Conforama France SA have

Star's share price fell 29% to R17.55 on Wednesday morning following the announcement of Jooste's departure.

Steinhoff International CEO Marcus Jooste resigned on Tuesday night, and the release of the company's full-year results - originally scheduled for Wednesday - has been delayed indefinitely.

"We're going to have to look very, very carefully and what comes out of the investigation and obviously, we are very keen to get information into the market as soon as possible".

The owner of the France-based Conforama furniture store chain and Pep clothing stores in Africa has appointed auditor PwC to probe the matter, it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Steinhoff nearly merged with Shoprite earlier this year which would have formed Africa's largest retailer but the plans were scrapped in February.

"The supervisory board of Steinhoff wishes to advise shareholders that new information has come to light today which relates to accounting irregularities requiring further investigation", it said in a statement. Omri Thomas of Abax Investments, the 15th largest investor in Steinhoff, said because there was no immediate prospect of any clarity on its results, it was hard to put a value on Steinhoff and this had prompted the severe share reaction.

Steinhoff said in a statement that it would publish its audited 2017 consolidated financial statements when it is in a position to do so.

Steinhoff shares had previously slumped 18% on Monday and Tuesday.

Over near two decades Mr Jooste has overseen Steinhoff's expansion from a South African furniture manufacturer to one of the world's biggest household goods retailers.

Supervisory board Chairman Christo Wiese will step in as executive chairman on an interim basis.

While the company has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by a state prosecutor in Germany since 2015, it is not clear if these are the accounting irregularities the company was referring to in its statement. Theodore de Klerk was appointed as his replacement, PSG said on Wednesday. Deloitte declined to comment due to client confidentially obligations and the ongoing investigations.

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