Steinhoff calls in Moelis and AlixPartners to advise ahead of lenders' meeting

FILE PHOTO: A Poundland employee checks products in a store in London, Britain November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Troubled international retail conglomerate Steinhoff SNHJ.JSNHG.DE, whose shares plunged last week after disclosing accounting problems, said on Sunday it had appointed two advisory firms ahead of a meeting with lenders on Dec. 19.

The South African company said it has appointed U.S. investment bank Moelis & Co MC.N to advise the company on talks with its lenders, and has asked management consultancy AlixPartners "to assist on liquidity management and operational measures".

More than $14 billion was wiped off the market value of the Johannesburg and Frankfurt-listed group last week after it announced it was ordering an independent investigation into its accounts and said its CEO was leaving.

“The group is currently fully focused on safeguarding operational liquidity to continue funding existing operations throughout its various subsidiaries,” the company said on Sunday.

“In this context, the group is asking for and requires continued support in relation to existing facilities from all its lenders to achieve an immediate stabilization of the group’s financing,” it added in a statement.

On Friday the company had said it was postponing its regular annual lenders’ meeting in London from Dec. 11 to Dec. 19 as a result of it having postponed its financial results pending the outcome of the accounting investigation.

“The purpose of the meeting will be for the group to provide an update on its ongoing operational and financial situation. An agenda for the meeting will be circulated ahead of 19 December 2017,” the company said on Sunday.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Greg Mahlich