Steinhoff’s stealthy bid for Mattress Firm and other facts about the retailer

Christo Wiese. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL
Christo Wiese. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL

Acquisitive Steinhoff could be eyeing Shoprite as its next meal after Christo Wiese, the single largest shareholder in both groups, said at Shoprite’s annual general meeting on Monday that a tie-up with Steinhoff would give Shoprite an international balance sheet.

Here are 10 facts about Steinhoff:

1. Steinhoff has invested more than R70bn in acquisitions in the past year alone.

2. The group’s $2.4bn acquisition of Houston-based Mattress Firm Holdings earlier this year created the world’s largest multi-brand mattress retail distribution network. Not a word was heard before Steinhoff made its bid for Mattress Firm, leading one stunned employee to say: “I came home from vacation to find out our company had been sold.”

3. Shoprite would not fit the typical profile of a Steinhoff acquisition. Exane BNP Paribas analysts say Steinhoff usually targets localised retailers with strong brand awareness, which can be complemented by Steinhoff’s supply chain. The target businesses would usually be “under-earning” or in some cases, distressed.

4. Steinhoff owns discount retailer Pepkor. The core retail concept is Pep, which is Africa’s largest single brand retailer, which also has 50% market share in SA.

5. Markus Jooste is the CEO of Steinhoff and has a passion for horse sports. He has interests in more than 200 horses across the world and in 2015 he owned the top-rated juvenile, three-year-old and older horse in SA, in addition to winning seven races at the highest level.

6. Steinhoff’s share price has delivered an almost 300% return in the past five years.

7. The group is Europe’s second-largest furniture retailer — second only to Ikea.

8. Founder Bruno Steinhoff was chairman of the company until 2008.

9. Its primary listing is in Frankfurt and its secondary listing is on the JSE.

10. The company is part of the JSE top 40 and is valued at R30.96bn.

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