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Steinhoff sells 6% of African unit

Its present 77% stake in Steinhoff Africa is worth R50 billion ($4.17 billion) and the deal could bring in about R4 billion, bankers said.

Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - Troubled South African retailer Steinhoff plans to sell 6% of its domestic Steinhoff Africa Retail operation to reduce debt, it said on Wednesday.

Steinhoff, which owns 77% of Steinhoff Africa Retail, is fighting for survival after discovering accounting irregularities in December, knocking its share price by about 90% and leading to the departure of its chief executive and chairman.

The multinational, which has more than 40 retail brands that include Conforama in France, Poundland in the UK and Mattress Firm in the US, said it would sell 200 million shares, or a 6% stake, in Steinhoff Africa Retail via an accelerated bookbuild - reducing its holding to 71%.

Its present 77% stake in Steinhoff Africa is worth R50 billion ($4.17 billion) and the deal could bring in about R4 billion, bankers said.

“Steinhoff continues to view (Steinhoff Africa Retail) as a strategic investment,” the company said.

Steinhoff Africa Retail was hived off from the group last year to achieve a higher rating for Steinhoff assets in developed markets and give emerging markets-focused investors an opportunity to invest in the Africa-exposed business.

Steinhoff plans to use the proceeds to help fund the early repayment of its $1.3 billion South African bond.

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