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Scandal-hit Steinhoff sells unit of Australasian subsidiary

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By Reuters

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Steinhoff International <SNHJ.J> said on Monday its Australasian subsidiary Greenlit Brands sold its general merchandise division to Allegro Funds, as the South African retailer grapples with the fallout of an accounting scandal worth about $7 billion.

Steinhoff had said in August its only way to survive was to slim down and sell its assets.

“The sale of Greenlit Brands General Merchandise division is a further step in Steinhoff’s programme of planned divestments,” Louis du Preez, Steinhoff Group CEO said.

As part of the deal, brands including Best & Less and Debenhams Australia and a total of more than 322 stores and over 6,100 employees would be taken over by Allegro Funds, said Greenlit Brands, a retailer and manufacturer.

Allegro Funds is an Australian fund manager specialising in turning companies around.

Steinhoff said the terms of the transaction were confidential.

Established more than 50 years ago, the firm transformed itself from a small South African outfit to a furniture and household goods retailer straddling four continents before it shocked investors by flagging holes in its accounts in December 2017.

(Reporting by Emma Rumney, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)