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South African regulator to continue investigating Steinhoff auditors

South Africa's Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors said Feb. 25 that its initial review of Steinhoff International Holdings NV's financial statements that were audited by Deloitte South Africa brought to light lines of inquiry that require further investigation.

IRBA began investigating Deloitte in December 2017, after widely reported allegations of accounting irregularities in Steinhoff's financial statements. The review includes Steinhoff's accounts for 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The news comes less than a week after a Dutch court ordered the South African furniture retailer to amend its 2016 accounts to reflect only a 50% controlling interest in Poco, its former joint venture with Andreas Seifert.

"While the recent ruling in the Dutch court which ordered Steinhoff to amend its 2016 accounts has confirmed some elements which we will review, the Steinhoff case is a multifaceted one which will require significant investigation," IRBA said in a statement. "Nevertheless, our initial review of the audit files has identified some lines of further investigation which we are pursuing."

The regulator said it needs the company's restated annual financial statements and the internal review report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, which Steinhoff enlisted as forensic investigators, before it can conclude its probe.