Steinhoff shares plunge 60% as Jooste quits over alleged accounting irregularities

Poundland's South African owner sees shares slump after revealing 'accounting irregularities'

Steinhoff's STAR largely unaffected by group troubles

Its European operation expanded a year ago to include United Kingdom discount retailer Poundland.

Steinhoff International, which owns the Poundland and Dealz chains, as well as a myriad of other household and general merchandise retail businesses, has said that it has launched an investigation into accounting irregularities within the company.

Steinhoff said chief executive Markus Jooste, who had been at the helm for almost 20 years and oversaw its expansion to one of the world's largest household goods retailers, had resigned with immediate effect and consultants PwC would undertake an "independent investigation".

Steinhoff said Wiese would "embark on a detailed review of all aspects of the company's business with a view to maximising shareholder value", but its South African shares slumped 65 percent to an eight-year low of 15.87 by 1120 GMT.

Steinhoff had been due to release its fiscal 2017 earnings report on Wednesday, but said the results will come out when it is "in a position to do so".

The company's chairman, Christo Wiese, will become executive chairman on an interim basis.

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Bruce Poliquin, who represents Maine's sprawling 2nd Congressional District, said Zinke's recommendation "strikes the right balance".

Star's share price fell 29% to R17.55 on Wednesday morning following the announcement of Jooste's departure. As well as furniture and homeware, it also sells products including clothing, footwear and consumer goods.

Poundland is headquartered in Willenhall, while Benson for Beds and Harveys are based in Cheltenham.

It bought Poundland previous year and has introduced its Pep&Co budget clothing brand into scores of stores.

The company said late on Tuesday that he had resigned with immediate effect, after the discovery of new information prompted the firm to ask PwC to perform an "independent investigation".

The Steinhoff holding company is based in Amsterdam for tax reasons and has its primary listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange. The group has been under investigation for suspected accounting irregularities by the state prosecutor in Oldenburg in Germany since the same year.

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