Steinhoff Europe said to owe creditor $464.86 million

Steinhoff International Holdings has detailed the application put forward by the company of former business partner Andreas Seifert to block the voluntary administration of its European business.

According to the furniture conglomerate, the application alleges that Steinhoff Europe owed LSW GmbH a total of $464.86 million (€291.4 million) as of 14 December 2018, and seeks to “challenge certain provisions of the [Steinhoff Europe voluntary arrangement]”.

While no other claim was made against the business, the voluntary administration cannot go forward without first settling LSW’s claims.

Steinhoff previously had agreed to sell its shares in the POCO furniture business to entities controlled by Seifert for $436.8 million (€270 million), though these dealings were called a “big mistake” by former chief executive Marcus Jooste, and led in large part to the company’s current financial difficulties.

While the group expects to publish its audited financial statements for 2017 and 2018 by 18 April 2019, initially delayed due to the PwC investigation into its accounting irregularities being more complex than initially anticipated, this date could be pushed further back should the application cause a further delay in the Steinhoff Europe voluntary administration.

Steinhoff’s management team notes that, for the time being, it is currently prioritising the resolution of this application, as well as finalising the voluntary administration and annual financial statements, while assisting PwC with its investigation.

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