The Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton. Photo: iStock
  • The JSE is talking to Steinhoff and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange about whether the company has breached its listing requirements.
  • Trading in its shares could then be suspended.
  • The share price fell 20% in the first three days of this week, before recovering somewhat on Thursday morning. It is still down 97% from its peak.

The JSE has confirmed that it is talking to Steinhoff executives to establish whether the company has breached its listing requirements – which could see trading in its shares suspended.

The Steinhoff’s share price seemed to be in a death spiral at one point this week.

The JSE is currently engaging with Steinhoff to establish all the facts after various news articles, says André Visser, general manager of issuer regulation at the JSE. 

In the past couple of days, new revelations have emerged that have wreaked more havoc on the embattled company.

Former Steinhoff chairperson Christo Wiese confirmed that he received €325 million (R4.8 billion) from the retailer last year as up-front payments related to a planned merger between supermarket chain Shoprite Holdings and Steinhoff’s Africa operations.

The merger didn't happen.

Steinhoff said the payments didn’t follow correct disclosure or governance procedures.  

While the payments (technically: loans) would not be allowed in SA, Steinhoff is incorporated in the Netherlands and this is not a contravention of Dutch law, Business Day reported.

Steinhoff’s primary listing is on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE), with a secondary listing on the JSE.

"The means that the company must comply in full with the FSE listing requirements and limited additional JSE listing requirements," says Visser.

Visser told Business Insider South Africa the JSE will be in contact with the Frankfurt bourse "in order to bring these matters [the Wiese revelations] to their attention". The JSE will confirm with the Frankfurt authorities "whether there were any breaches of their listing requirements (if so to what extent that has an impact on the JSE Listings Requirements) and what process they are following."

The JSE last month suspended trading of Steinhoff’s preference shares after the company failed to submit its annual report. Instead of an annual report, Steinhoff published limited quarterly numbers on Wednesday – and promised to do "whatever it takes" to stay in business.

Steinhoff’s share price is now down more than 97%  from its high point in 2016. In the first three days of this week alone, it crashed almost 20%. On Thursday morning, the share price rallied 11% to 268c after Steinhoff earned almost R4 billion from selling shares in the African retailer STAR, which owns Ackermans and Pep.

The JSE on Wednesday afternoon suspended the planned listing of Sagarmatha, Iqbal Survé's media company, because it had not submitted the correct financial statements in time.

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