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Steinhoff Ex-Partner Wins Case Against Scandal-Hit Retailer

  • Conforama owner told to adjust 2016 accounts to reflect ruling
  • Lawsuit predates wider accounting scandal reported December
Rugby training shields advertising Steinhoff International Holdings NV sit in storage at the University of Stellenbosch rugby field in Stellenbosch, South Africa on Friday, Jan. 26, 2017. Markus Jooste, former CEO of Steinhoff International Holdings NV, is at the center of the accounting scandal that’s wiped some $14 billion off the retailer’s market value and roiled the wealthy enclave of Stellenbosch, where many prominent business leaders live, work and play.
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
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Steinhoff International Holdings NV lost a case against a former business partner related to how it reported financials for 2016, the first major legal setback for the global retailer as it battles an accounting scandal.

The owner of French furniture chain Conforama, Mattress Firm in the U.S. and Pep clothing in Africa should amend its accounts for that year, the Amsterdam Enterprise Chamber ruled Monday in a case brought by Andreas Seifert’s OM Handels and MW Handels businesses. The lawsuit pre-dates the reporting by Steinhoff of financial wrongdoing that’s wiped almost 90 percent off the value of the company.