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From Home Furnishing Business

CEO of Mattress Firm Owner Quits Amid Accounting Probe

Steinhoff International, (FRANKFURT: SNH) the South African furniture manufacturer and retailer that acquired bedding retail giant Mattress Firm last year, said CEO Markus Jooste has resigned and the company has launched an investigation into possible “accounting irregularities.”

The company said its Supervisory Board, akin to a board of directors for U.S.-based companies, has hired the accounting firm PWC to conduct an independent investigation of its finances. The company said it will “update the market as the aforesaid investigation proceeds,” adding that financial statements for prior years may have to be restated.

The board appointed its chairman, Christo Wiese, as executive chairman on an interim basis to oversee day-to-day operations. In addition, Pieter Erasmus, the previous CEO of Pepkor Group, has agreed to join Wiese in an executive advisory capacity to assist with managing the group’s various retail interests around the world, the company said.

Wiese and the board will supplement the management team and will embark on a detailed review of all aspects of the company’s business, according to a statement issued by Steinhoff.

“The Supervisory Board wishes to reassure shareholders that Steinhoff has a number of high quality profitable businesses around the world,” the statement read.

Steinhoff acquired Mattress Firm in September 2016 in a $3.8 billion deal that marked Steinhoff’s first foray into the North American market. Mattress Firm has more than 3,500 stores in 48 states.

Earlier this year, Steinhoff acquired a majority stake in mattress producer Sherwood Bedding, a family-owned company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The company, which has four U.S. factories, is a supplier of private label bedding to several major retailers.

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