14/12/2017 06:53 SAST | Updated 14/12/2017 06:54 SAST

Government Employees' Pension Fund Wants A Seat On Steinhoff's Board

As one of Steinhoff's biggest shareholders, the GEPF and the PIC want to monitor Steinhoff's investigation.

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The Government Employees' Pension Fund (GEPF) and its asset manager, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), will from now on insist on having two representatives on Steinhoff's board committee investigating the company, "to ensure that the process is transparent", Fin24 reported.

Steinhoff's shares have dropped by 80% in value since the shock resignation of its CEO, Markus Jooste, last week, amid allegations of accounting fraud at the company.

The GEPF and the PIC also want to appoint two directors to the boards of both Steinhoff International Holdings and Steinhoff Africa Retail.

The GEPF is reportedly that second biggest investor in Steinhoff, owning about 10% of its shares. The GEPF also moved to assure investors that despite Steinhoff's fall, its portfolio was diversified enough so as not to affect the pensions of government employees.

"It is important to note that, notwithstanding the collapse in the Steinhoff share, the GEPF portfolio remains financially healthy, because of its diversified nature. It is also important to note that GEPF members' benefits will not be changed by these developments, given that the GEPF is a defined benefit pension fund," the fund reportedly said.

Steinhoff reportedly said it was working towards releasing its 2017 financial results.

The PIC said it had frequently engaged with Steinhoff about the need to rotate auditors and long-serving board members, but had not often received positive feedback, MoneyWeb reported.

"While the PIC has tried to use its position as a major shareholder to vote against some of the resolutions tabled at Steinhoff annual general meetings, the reality is that the PIC is only one amongst many shareholders who have voted differently on certain resolutions," the PIC said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Steinhoff will restate its 2016 financial results as they could no longer be relied upon, according to MoneyWeb.

"The 2016 consolidated financial statements will need to be restated and can no longer be relied upon. Shareholders and other investors in Steinhoff are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the securities of the group," the company said on Wednesday.