PIC welcomes Western Cape High Court Steinhoff decision

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has welcomed the decision of the Western Cape High Court to approve Steinhoff International Holdings Proprietary Limited's proposed global settlement.

The settlement aims to pay out claimants who suffered when the company lost its value as a result of alleged accounting irregularities, the PIC said.

According to media reports, under the settlement proposal, Steinhoff will pay out R25 billion to verified claimants. Claimants will in turn not pursue any legal challenges against the conglomerate. 

“The PIC further notes the SENS announcement by Steinhoff that both Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. (SIHNV) and SIHPL 'have undertaken preparations for the co-ordination of the steps required and will separately contact those counterparties who need to take any action (for example, to receive funds and/or PPH shares)',” said the PIC.

The PIC, together with other institutional investors, have since 2018 been involved in legal processes to recoup losses suffered when the company lost its value.

The PIC said it believes the settlement agreement is a positive step for those invested in Steinhoff.

Steinhoff and the PIC in September last year entered into a settlement agreement aimed at supporting the implementation of the Steinhoff global settlement.

At the time, the PIC said the proposed settlement forms part of the global settlement first announced by Steinhoff in 2019 and the ongoing related settlement processes in the Netherlands and South Africa.

In 2018, the PIC joined a group of approximately 40 institutional investors that had brought damages claims against SIHNV before a Dutch court. A process of mediation ensued thereafter.

The PIC in September 2021 said it believed the proposed settlement was in the best interests of its clients, given the alternative cost of protracted litigation and related uncertainties, and the prospect of further diminishing share value. – SAnews.gov.za

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