Steinhoff’s Window-Dressing Reveals the Devil Is in the Details

It’s quite understandable that Steinhoff International Holdings NV wants to create a favorable impression. The embattled retailer is in the final month of debt-restructuring talks, after all. In its results presentation last week, Steinhoff proclaimed in standout pink letters on the first page that it operates in “more than 12,000 stores with 40+ brands in 30+ countries.” Zoom in and the small print below reveals this includes discontinued operations, Bloomberg News reported. It comes after revelations of accounting irregularities that have wiped out more than 95% of its share price. The scandal has made the company and its auditors particularly careful, with disclaimers throughout its financial statements. Plus, accounting rules force the scandal-hit furniture, shoe and clothing retailer to book some assets as discontinued. Read more