Billionaire Christo Wiese Invests $1.8 Billion More in Steinhoff

JOHANNESBURG, Capital Markets in Africa: Christo Wiese, South Africa’s richest man, is investing a further $1.8 billion in Steinhoff International Holdings NV to help finance the furniture retailer’s acquisition spree in Europe and North America.

Steinhoff raised 2.45 billion euros ($2.74 billion) as it also sold shares to other investors, including a fund that’s linked to South Africa’s program to promote black ownership, the company said on Wednesday. Steinhoff shares rose 4.8 percent to 5.29 euros at 4:28 p.m. in Frankfurt, compared with the stock placing of 5.055 euros, Tuesday’s closing price.

Wiese, whose net worth is estimated at $6.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, said last month Steinhoff isn’t done with deals as acquisitions are part of the company’s DNA. Steinhoff snapped up U.K. discount chain Poundland Group Plc and Mattress Firm Holding Corp. of the U.S. in the past year as it aims to challenge the likes of Ikea.

“The real story here is around Wiese, confirming the financial backing and the acumen which he brings to the company,” said Mark Hodgson, a Cape Town-based analyst at Avior Capital Markets. “They are raising more than what I estimated they required, which may suggest there are more deals in the pipeline.”

Steinhoff employs more than 90,000 people and has about 6,500 stores in 30 countries from the U.K. to Australia. The offering includes new shares and treasury stock. 

Source: Bloomberg Business News

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