Mr Tekkie CFO weighs in on high court interdict against Steinhoff

Robin Seabrook: "The last few months have taught me about the need to do what is right."

Last week an order was made by the Western Cape High Court interdicting Steinhoff to preserve its control over Pepkor and also from trading in the shares of Tekkie Town, or using the business of Tekkie Town as any form of collateral. 

The order will remain in place until the former owners and management of Tekkie Town have made their case for the cancellation of the original sale transaction of Tekkie Town to Steinhoff, along with the return of the business to its original owners. 

Former Steinhoff Speciality Fashion and Footwear group head of financial services and corporate affairs Robin Seabrook said that by looking at the SENS announcements of Steinhoff, it’s possible to see a clear pattern of asset disposals carried out in order to generate the needed cashflow to continue funding itself. 

“Of late, there has been an increased velocity in this asset sale activity. This is of great concern to us, as it shows that the asset of Tekkie Town, which is a great cash generator, could be used via Steinhoff’s controlling interest in Pepkor to further free up cashflow,” Robin said. 

Robin is now the co-founder, director and CFO of Mr Tekkie, which was launched four months after Tekkie Town founder Braam van Huyssteen and his management team walked out of Tekkie Town’s head office in George. 

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Robin expressed his sympathy for all the stakeholders who have lost money and suffered reputational damage through the actions of certain Steinhoff executives and external associates.  

“We were among the first victims to launch our legal action. Our claim is unique in that our transaction was a complete exchange of our business for restricted shares in Steinhoff. As a management team, we were excited to have a greater platform on which to build our careers and to enable others to build theirs.”

It has been 11 months since Tekkie Town executives walked out of its head office and, according to Robin, they are “taking a stand” for what they believed was the theft of their business and the subsequent alienation of certain Tekkie Town executives by Pepkor

“I never thought I would do such a thing in my lifetime but then again I always knew that I would not be associated with any business obtained through fraud. I have come to realise during this time of reflection that at some stage in your life, a stand needs to be taken for things that matter. Right and wrong. It shook my world. If anything, in hindsight, I wish I had acted sooner in this regard, and these last few months have taught me a lot about myself, confrontation, and the need to do what you believe is right. Especially when it is financially much easier and safer to just proceed down the path of least resistance and stay in a warm comfortable place.”

In the meantime, the former Tekkie Town executives continue building the business of Mr Tekkie one store at a time, and “look forward to the restitution of Tekkie Town back to its rightful owners.”