BarentsKrans, one of Europe’s leading mass litigation law firms, is commencing legal proceedings on behalf of aggrieved shareholders of Steinhoff International Holdings NV, with the claim to include accountants Deloitte as co-defendants.

The BarentsKrans claim will be conducted in the Netherlands, with Steinhoff shareholders from all over the world eligible to participate. It follows announcements by Steinhoff in December last year that its accounts would need to be restated, resulting in the share price plummeting by more than 80%.

Shareholders who acquired shares in Steinhoff or its predecessor entity Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd between 26th June 2013 and 6th December 2017 can now register to participate in the case here.

The case will be funded by Claims Funding Europe, a joint venture company established in 2012 by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, and the Singapore-based funding firm International Litigation Funding Partners. Claims Funding Europe is currently funding some of the largest class actions in the world.

In addition to being directed at Steinhoff, based on current investigations there are also reportedly grounds for including Deloitte as a defendant in the case, as for many years Deloitte has been responsible for auditing the financial statements of Steinhoff and its predecessor entity, Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd.

Martin Hyde, director of Claims Funding Europe, says: “For years Steinhoff shareholders were misled about the true financial position of the company and vital information was withheld from the market. The resulting losses suffered by shareholders were enormous and investors who suffered loss are entitled to compensation."

Steinhoff announced that information concerning ‘accounting irregularities requiring further investigation’ had come to the attention of its supervisory board on 6th December 2017, and that its CEO Markus Jooste had resigned with immediate effect.

On 13th December Steinhoff announced that its 2016 accounts would need to be restated, and on 2nd January 2018, it confirmed that the 2015 and 2016 accounts of its predecessor entity, Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd, would also need to be restated – and that “the restatement of the financial statements of Steinhoff International Holdings Ltd for years prior to 2015 is likely to be required”.

Steinhoff issued this press release regarding its stabilisation plan on 18th January,