Johannesburg, March 23 (10:58 PM PKT)(AFP/APP): Embattled retail giant Steinhoff on Tuesday said some of its insurers had agreed to contribute $93 million to settle legal claims that have rocked the company since fraud allegations surfaced in 2017.
Steinhoff, which is listed in both Frankfurt and Johannesburg, is under investigation for suspected fraud after it disclosed a six billion euro hole in its accounts in December 2017. The furniture and clothing retailer is still struggling to recover from the scandal, which caused a dramatic plunge in its share prices and triggered a string of high-profile resignations. In a statement on Tuesday, the company said it had “reached an agreement with certain insurance companies underwriting Steinhoff’s… directors and officers”.
The insurers will contribute up to 78.1 million euros ($93 million) to resolve various litigation and claims against the Steinhoff group, including compensation for market purchase claimants “in exchange for certain waivers and releases”.
The deal follows a 77.94-million-euro settlement by Steinhoff’s former auditor Deloitte last month. Overall, Steinhoff has proposed a $1 billion global lawsuit settlement plan to resolve around 90 legal claims from aggrieved shareholders and business partners in Germany, the Netherlands and South Africa. German prosecutors meanwhile pressed fraud charges against four people in connection with the case earlier this month.
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