Shareholder group VEB plans lawsuit against three banks over Steinhoff, Absa responds

(Reuters and CNBC Africa) – A Dutch shareholder group has given notice that it plans to file a class action lawsuit against Barclays Plc, Commerzbank AG and Absa Bank Ltd over their roles in a 2015 share sale by South African retailer Steinhoff International, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

FOR MORE ON STEINHOFF, CLICK HERE

As required by Dutch law, shareholder group VEB gave the three banks two weeks’ notice of its plan to file the lawsuit and invited them to open talks on “an amicable settlement”, the report said.

VEB maintained the banks are “liable for damages incurred by Steinhoff shareholders” because of their roles in the listing of Steinhoff on the Frankfurt and Johannesburg stock exchanges as part of its creation of a holding company in Amsterdam, the FT said.

Steinhoff declined to comment. VEB, Barclays and Commerzbank, were not immediately available for comment outside regular business hours whilst Absa in an emailed statement said:

We have noted press reports that VEB (the Dutch Investors Association) has indicated that it has notified Absa and two other banks that it is holding them liable for losses incurred by Steinhoff shareholders. Absa has not received any notification from VEB in this regard. For clarity, Absa Bank Ltd was the JSE Transaction Sponsor to Steinhoff International Holdings Limited (“Steinhoff South Africa”). Absa’s role was limited to ensuring that the JSE’s listing rules were complied with by Steinhoff SA, the relevant JSE-listed company. Absa’s mandate specifically did not include the compilation or review of the financial statements of Steinhoff South Africa or any other Steinhoff company.        

Steinhoff, which has more than 40 retail brands including France’s Conforama and British chain Poundland, faced a fight for survival after admitting accounting irregularities in December, wiping about 85 percent off its market value and triggering a liquidity crisis.

Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Adrian Croft

Related Content

Steinhoff has been fined R53 million for misleading markets

Steinhoff disclosed the hole in its accounts in December 2017 which shocked investors and wiped more than 200 billion rand off its stock market value.

Why Steinhoff is barred from selling its shares in Tekkie Town

Bernard Mostert, former Tekkie Town CEO and current CEO of Mr.Tekkie joins CNBC Africa to disclose the reasons behind the judgement which stopped Steinhoff from selling its shares in Tekkie Town. The Judge finally ruled that Tekkie Town did and does not exist for debt servicing.

This fund manager never invested in Steinhoff, here’s why they won’t touch it

Is the grass finally greener for Steinhoff investors? Joining CNBC Africa for more is Zwelakhe Mnguni, Chief Investment Officer, Benguela Global Fund Managers.

Louis du Preez on why he believes Steinhoff has a future

Global retailer Steinhoff saw its share price soar after its Chief Executive Officer, Louis du Preez presented its restructuring plan. He warned that total debt of over 9 billion euros is “too high” and needs to be urgently addressed. He joins CNBC Africa for more.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

African born tycoon Elon Musk Tesla slashes prices as pandemic weighs heavily

The company headed by Elon Musk this month posted a smaller-than-expected fall in car deliveries in the second quarter, resilient results despite the pandemic that hit the global auto industry.

COVID-19: No more booze for now says Ramaphosa

"We have to make sure there are sufficient beds in hospital and they are not occupied by people who have been taking alcohol,"says Ramaphosa.

Up to 50,000 South Africans could die this year of COVID-19

President Ramaphosa also admitted that there was a shortfall of 12000 healthcare workers. Despite this there were 28000 hospital beds as well as 37000 private quarantine beds for those unable to isolate at home, along with 1700 ventilators.

Sudan’s 37 dry years are over for its non-Muslims

Non-Muslims will no longer be criminalised for drinking alcohol in private, Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari told state television. For Muslims, the ban will remain. Offenders are typically flogged under Islamic law.

Partner Content

Tata International concludes a securitization transaction for its African Subsidiaries

UAE financial centers act as a gateway to benefit African businesses GCC, July 13th, 2020: Tata International Limited (TIL)...

Uber launches its largest region-wide initiative in partnership with Mastercard

Uber, in partnership with Mastercard to provide 120,000 free trips to frontline workers in MEA, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast...

Trending Now

What lies ahead for the COVID-19 hit journalism industry?

The people who bring us the unfettered truth are becoming thinner and thinner on the ground. In these days of COVID-19 journalist jobs are disappearing faster than most. Ten years ago there were 10,000 journalists in South Africa. In March this year there were 5,000. In the last three months that number has dwindled to just 2,500, according to the South African National Editor's Forum. What next? Hopewell Radebe, Journalist with SANEF joins CNBC Africa for more.

Is the SA govt. doing enough to deter COVID-19 price gouging?

More and more companies, engaging in price gouging, are finding themselves in a spot of bother, as consumers refuse to stand for it. The Competition Tribunal has confirmed three more consent agreements, relating to COVID-19 excessive pricing complaints. Since April, over 20 agreements have been confirmed. Bob Makukunzva, Lawyer at Gwina Attorneys joins CNBC Africa for more.

COMMENT: AfCFTA is economic medicine Africa needs to recover from the covid-19 pandemic

he vast market created by AfCFTA will provide an immediate boon to nascent plans being guided by the African CDC, NEPAD and others to produce various critical healthcare items such as pharmaceutical compounds, PPE and ventilators in countries such as Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya.

More than 70 workers test positive for COVID-19 on an English farm

The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases across Britain each day has been falling from a peak of more than 6,000 in April to 650 in the latest figures released on Sunday, despite wider availability of testing.
- Advertisement -