Court approves Steinhoff restructuring plan
27 June 2023
On 21 June 2023, the Amsterdam District Court approved a restructuring plan offered by Steinhoff International Holdings N.V. under the Dutch restructuring scheme (Wet homologatie onderhands akkoord, "WHOA").
A global concern with over 90,000 employees and a multi-billion turnover, the Steinhoff group was unable to repay its debt of EUR 10.4 billion before the maturity date (30 June 2023). To prevent its creditors from enforcing their security rights on group holdings, Steinhoff offered its creditors and shareholders a restructuring plan.
Under the restructuring plan, combined with an out-of-court UK consent request, all of Steinhoff's assets and liabilities will be transferred to a new structure, from which the Steinhoff group holdings will be sold over the next three to five years. Any amount remaining after all the debts have been repaid will be split 80/20 between a group of financial creditors and the current shareholders, respectively, through contingent value rights. Once all assets and liabilities have been transferred, the decision may be taken to wind up Steinhoff, which will automatically end its listings in Germany and South Africa.
Introduced in 2021, the WHOA provides the option of a forced restructuring plan to prevent insolvency. Money-wise, Steinhoff's restructuring plan is by far the most substantial to date.
The District Court of Amsterdam appointed Frederic Verhoeven and Willem Meijer as observers in these WHOA proceedings. They were assisted by Karien van Boekel and Joep Meester.