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Steinhoff appoints Louis du Preez as new permanent CEO, shares soar

Du Preez will replace acting CEO Danie van der Merwe who will step down at the end of December.

Louis du Preez has been appointed as new CEO at Steinhoff. Picture: www.steinhoffinternational.com

JOHANNESBURG - Steinhoff’s commercial director Louis du Preez will take over as the new permanent chief executive officer, sending its shares soaring more than 16% on Monday.

Du Preez will replace acting CEO Danie van der Merwe who will step down at the end of December, a year after the retailer revealed multi-billion dollar holes in its balance sheet.

Steinhoff’s former permanent CEO Markus Jooste, who resigned after the scandal broke, is being investigated over the crisis that wiped more than 90% off Steinhoff’s market value and forced it to sell assets to fund working capital.

Steinhoff in October asked creditors for a one-month extension relating to its debt restructuring as it negotiates documents required to implement the plan. About 85% of creditors supported the extension.

Steinhoff’s shares traded 13.66% higher at R2.08 by 1151 GMT.

“It is not too surprising who they have gone for, given his role in driving the restructuring and this would be seen as a positive,” said Mark Hodgson, equities trader at Avoir Capital Markets.