Poco trades from more than 100 stores, most of which are in Germany
Steinhoff International Holdings has moved a step closer to ridding itself of Poco, the circa €1 billion German furniture discount chain, but faces a legal battle to bank the proceeds.


The international conglomerate said today (Sep. 4) that it had entered a sale agreement to dispose of its 50 percent stake in the retailer for nearly €271 million to entities controlled by Austrian businessman Andreas Seifert. As part of the transaction, Poco will also retain circa €140 million of debt without recourse to Steinhoff.

The deal firms up an April agreement in principle where similar terms were outlined, and should bring an end to a legal dispute between Mr Seifert and Steinhoff regarding who owns Poco.

Steinhoff originally claimed 100 percent ownership of the chain through its LiVest subsidiary. Back in February, a Dutch court said that was not the case, ruling it had a 50 percent controlling stake in the business, with the remainder held by Mr Seifert.

Poco trades from more than 100 stores, the vast majority of which are in Germany, where the chain originates and was founded by the Pohlmann family back in 1989.

They too have a legal beef with Steinhoff. This is in regard to the 2015 sale of the family's interest in LiVest, the entity by which Steinhoff now holds the Poco stake.

That means any proceeds from the sale by LiVest of its 50 percent share in Poco will be held in escrow while the Pohlmann dispute is finalised, the group said Tuesday.