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Steinhoff Says Forensic Investigation By PwC Progressing Well; Revises Timeline

Steinhoff International Holdings N.V., a South African international retail holding company, on Thursday provided an update on the forensic investigation, noting that the investigation being undertaken by PwC has progressed well.

Regarding the expected timetable to publish its audited Group financial statements for 2017 and 2018, the company noted that despite significant efforts being exerted by all parties, it is now clear that the timeline for completing the Group consolidated financial reporting and audit process has shifted and it will not be possible for all the work required to be finalised within the original timeframe.

The Company now estimates that it will publish its Group audited financial statements for 2017 and 2018 by the middle of April 2019. The 2017 and 2018 financial statements for Steinhoff Investment Holdings Ltd will be released shortly thereafter.

In a statement, the company noted that the forensic investigative process has been significantly more complex than initially anticipated, with multiple work streams operating across a number of jurisdictions. The investigation is substantially complete but more time is required to finalise a number of follow up work streams. The investigation is now expected to be complete by the end of February 2019, with the final report being available to the Company shortly thereafter.

Steinhoff said it anticipates providing the market with an overview of PwC's findings after it has had time to review the full final report. This overview will ensure that the legally privileged nature of the report is not undermined and its position in the various pending legal and other proceedings is not jeopardized.

The company further said that while significant progress has been made in a number of areas, the full implications of the accumulated findings of the PwC report on the Group's 2017 and 2018 financial statements are still being analysed to ensure that the correct accounting treatment and related disclosures are adopted. This aspect remains a very crucial and complex area.

Once the forensic report findings and the final accounting treatments are resolved by the Group, the statutory auditors need to complete the outstanding audit processes for all of the years involved in the build up to these financial statements.

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