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Steinhoff's Suffering May Persist as Debt Repayments Loom

South African retail empire is reeling from an accounting scandal

As equity investors pummel Steinhoff International Holdings NV’s shares, bondholders and banks are assessing the retailer’s ability to repay debt. The company -- which has had about 140 billion rand ($10.3 billion) wiped off its market value in the two days since its chief executive officer quit over accounting irregularities -- needs to pay 620 million rand in principal and interest on Dec. 12. Steinhoff is selling non-core assets and refinancing debt owed to it by a subsidiary to boost liquidity, fund its operations and reduce liabilities as it faces 31.8 billion rand of repayments next year.

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