South Africa's Steinhoff postpones shareholder hearing over petition

JOHANNESBURG, May 22 (Reuters) - South African retailer Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. said on Wednesday it had postponed a hearing with shareholders who are petitioning looking for an inquiry into the company before a Dutch court.

The company has been in the middle of a clean-up of its balance sheet after discovering multi-billion euro holes in its accounts in 2017, erasing about 85 percent of its market value and throwing it into a liquidity crisis.

The company and the group of shareholders agreed to postpone the hearing, which was scheduled to take place on Thursday, to a later date this year, Steinhoff said in a statement.

“The date of the hearing will be communicated to the market as soon as it has been finalised,” the firm said.

The group of shareholders requested the appointment of an investigator and an additional member of the company’s supervisory board to look at the information Steinhoff provides to shareholders and for the inquiry to be ordered by the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal.

Last year a Dutch court said it would hear complaints by shareholders who say that Steinhoff, registered in the Netherlands, misled them by stating false information in its 2015 and 2016 accounts.

Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; editing by David Evans