Steinhoff’s latest note to shareholders reflects a company “heading toward liquidation”, Herenya Capital Advisors founder Petri Redelinghuys says.
“The list of shareholders suing the company, it is starting to look like they believe the company will be broken up or liquidated,” Redelinghuys told Business Insider South Africa.
“The vultures are circling in.”
Shareholders are typically last in line when companies pay debtors.
“So these lawsuits from shareholders such as Christo Wiese, [GT] Ferreira, Tekkie Town, and this is all speculation, is a means to get ahead [in the line of debtors] when the company is liquidated.”
In a note to investors on Thursday afternoon (PDF), Steinhoff said is being sued by prominent banker GT Ferreira for R1.5 billion (€100 million) and by the vendors who sold it Tekkie Town for R1.8 billion (€120m).
It is also facing a roughly R59 billion claim from former chairperson Christo Wiese, and it now expects a court hearing in Amsterdam before the end of September on a claim by Dutch investors association VEB.
Steinhoff said it would release unaudited interim results before the end of June 2018, including an unaudited balance sheet for 30 September 2017. Share prices were down nearly 8% on Wednesday afternoon falling from R1.80 to R1.60, finally settling on R1.74.
Redelinghuys gave Steinhoff a 50% chance of survival.
“I once thought that Steinhoff would easily survive this crisis, but now I don't know,” he said.
“If you buy [Steinhoff] shares today you must know it might be money you’d never see again.”