Steinhoff chairman Christo Wiese has stepped down from the role in the wake of the group’s accounting scandal.

The South African conglomerate, which owns Poundland, Bensons for Beds and Harveys in the UK, said in a statement that Wiese had offered to resign in order to reinforce independent governance of the company.

Steinhoff’s share price has crashed around 80% since postponing its full-year results last week as a result of “accounting irregularities”.

The retail group’s boss Markus Jooste stepped down in the immediate aftermath and issued a statement apologising to shareholders.

Wiese, Steinhoff’s largest shareholder, had initially stepped in as executive chairman to replace Jooste on an interim basis.

Wiese’s son Jacob has also resigned from the board, while Heather Sonn, a member of Steinhoff’s supervisory board and its independent sub-committee, will take on the role of acting chairperson.

South African state pension fund the Public Investment Corporation, which is the second-largest investor in Steinhoff after Wiese, is also asking for a seat on the board committee investigating the accounting irregularities.

Steinhoff owns 40 retailers in more than 30 countries, including Conforama in France and Mattress Firm in the US.

It has hit headlines in the UK in recent years after snapping up Poundland and losing to Sainsbury’s in a hotly contested race to acquire Argos.