Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste has resigned with immediate effect, while new information has come to light relating to "accounting irregularities" that require "further investigation".

In an announcement yesterday, the group's board reported that it was in talks with the company's statutory auditors, and had approached PwC to carry out an independent investigation.

The announcement came on the eve of Steinhoff's expected date to file its 2017 results – the company now says it will publish the audited 2017 consolidated financial statements "when it is in a position to do so", and will determine whether any prior financial statements will need to be restated.

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

Steinhoff has said it will update the market as the investigation proceeds.