German financial regulator fines Steinhoff R192m

Germany’s financial supervisory authority has fined Steinhoff International Holdings a total of €11.29 million (about R192m) for breaching financial regulations.

The multinational retailer has a primary listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and a secondary one on the JSE.

BaFin said in a brief statement that the sanction related to contraventions of the Securities Trading Act and the Act on Breaches of Administrative Regulations.

“Steinhoff International Holdings NV failed to make its annual financial report for the financial year 2016/17 publicly available within the prescribed period.

“Furthermore, Steinhoff International Holdings NV failed to publish voting rights notifications within the prescribed period.”

Steinhoff has said it would not appeal the fine.

The fine will cover any other late filings, Steinhoff said this week.

The 2016/17 annual report was due around the time the Steinhoff fraud came to light in December 2017, when its auditors would not sign off on its accounts, resulting in its share price plunging more than 90%.

The fine and the administrative costs are payable in three tranches of €3.7m each in March 2023, March 2024 and September 2024.

Steinhoff is also facing administrative investigations and probably fines for late publication of other documents in 2017 and 2018.

Steinhoff narrowed its losses to €850m in 2021 from €2.3bn a year earlier.

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