GEORGE NEWS - Amid the news of Steinhoff International Holdings CEO Markus Jooste's resignation on Tuesday 5 December and the resultant massive tumble in the conglomerate's shares, Tekkie Town has experienced a record start to the festive season.
Upon enquiry as to how the news is expected to affect Tekkie Town and its holding company Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star), Bernard Mostert, CEO of Star's speciality fashion and footwear division, said, "It is certainly regrettable what is happening on corporate level, but we are focusing on doing business as usual and serving our clients. Judging from the record trade we have had since Black Friday and the first week of December, people are voting for us with their wallets."
In a letter to Star personnel the day after Jooste's resignation, Mostert wrote, "Markus was an integral part of the Steinhoff story and I have no doubt that you will hear more news in the days to come.
"What is really important here is our business and how we are serving our customers.
"Ultimately that is the only thing that matters and that is our only result ... please know that from all levels in the business we are invested in one another and our careers."
Steinhoff acquired a 100% stake in Tekkie Town last year. In September this year, Tekkie Town listed on the JSE as part of Steinhoff Africa Retail (Star), a new company consisting of all Steinhoff's Africa businesses. Steinhoff owns 76,8% of Star.
Following Jooste's resignation amid reports of accounting irregularities and a "criminal and tax investigation in Germany", Steinhoff shares plunged from just over R46 (at the close of trade that Tuesday) to under R6 on Friday morning.
By midday on Tuesday 12 December, it was trading between R7 and a little over R12 - still about 72% down from a week earlier.
The now well-known shop frontage of Steinhoff's George base. Photo: Alida de Beer
Steinhoff announced on its website that independent financial and operational advisors were appointed to advise on the group's discussions with its lenders and assist with liquidity management and operational measures.
"The group is currently fully focused on safeguarding operational liquidity to continue funding existing operations throughout its various subsidiaries."
It said that trading in its underlying businesses across the world continues uninterrupted.
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