The VEB has held Deloitte Accountants B.V. and Deloitte & Touche South Africa liable for the damage incurred by the Steinhoff shareholders.
Deloitte Accountants B.V. issued an unqualified auditor’s report on Steinhoff’s financial statements for 2016. Deloitte & Touche South Africa issued an unqualified auditor’s report on the financial statements for 2015. In part due to the two sets of misleading financial statements provided with unqualified auditor’s reports, investors have incurred losses of billions of euros.
On 6 December 2017, widespread accounting irregularities came to light at Steinhoff in relation to the valuation of certain assets. Steinhoff doubts the actual substance of about EUR 6 billion of assets outside South Africa. This valuation was ascribed to these European assets in the financial statements for 2016.
On 13 December 2017, both Steinhoff and Deloitte Accountants B.V. informed the market that the financial statements for 2016 were to be restated. Subsequently, on 2 January 2018, Steinhoff announced that investors should also no longer rely on the financial statements for 2015.
Meanwhile it is also clear that Steinhoff’s European real estate is only worth half of the EUR 2.2 billion estimated by Steinhoff.
Trusted party in society
Auditors have a public duty in supporting confidence in the financial markets. Investors must be able to rely on an unqualified auditor’s report on the basis of which they make investment decisions.
Should you require more information, please contact Mr Armand Kersten, Head of Relations at the VEB (firstname.lastname@example.org or +31 6 2721 9730).