G&E reached a record-breaking result in the Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. global settlement, to the tune of €1.4 billion (U.S. $1.6 billion). The settlement is the largest non-U.S. securities fraud settlement on file. It resolves claims arising from Steinhoff’s massive accounting fraud perpetrated on investors who acquired Steinhoff common stock on the stock exchanges of Frankfurt, Germany and/or Johannesburg, South Africa, prior to Steinhoff’s disclosure of accounting issues in late 2017 that caused its stock price to drop an astounding 95%. G&E’s group of claimants include Steinhoff’s largest shareholder, the South African government pension fund GEPF and its state-owned asset manager PIC, as well as 40 other institutional investors.
After three years of negotiating, the result is extraordinary, given the size of the claims against Steinhoff and its once-precarious financial position. In September 2021, the District Court of Amsterdam approved the Dutch portion of the settlement, and in January 2022, the High Court of South Africa, Western Cape Division, approved the South African portion, which increased the total global settlement amount to €1.4 billion (U.S. $1.6 billion) for all shareholders.