Shareholders have narrowly voted to reinstate Superdry co-founder Julian Dunkerton as a non-executive director, following an acrimonious public battle between him and the board of the young fashion brand.
Dunkerton won his bid by a slim margin of just 2.3% of the vote.
A total of 51.15% of investors were in favour of his return to the brand, and 48.85% were against.
The Superdry board, which unanimously recommended that shareholders vote against both appointments called for in Dunkerton’s requisition for a shareholder meeting last month, is expected to resign as a result of the outcome of the vote.
Dunkerton previously promised – if appointed – he would rebuild the brand’s profitability and restore double-digit percentage margins in two to three years.
He also pledged not to sell his 18.4% stake in Superdry for at least two years.
Following the meeting Dunkerton said: ”My co-founder James Holder and I are delighted that our fellow shareholders have responded positively to our proposals and recognised that, at our core, we have the very best interests of everyone involved with Superdry.
“Our interests as major shareholders are fully aligned with theirs and, together, we can set Superdry back on the path to growth and success. We have a wonderful opportunity to take this brand and this business to the next, exciting phase of its growth and development. I can’t wait to get started and to work with the directors, the talented staff and our partners to deliver the future of Superdry. The hard work starts now.”
“I am particularly pleased to be rejoining the Superdry Board alongside Peter Williams, one of the most impressive and experienced individuals in the retail fashion industry. I know that Peter will bring crucial expertise and insight to the board, as well as good governance and a mandate to look after the interests of all shareholder.”
Superdry chairman Peter Bamford said: “Whilst the board was unanimous in its view that the resolutions should be rejected and 74% of shareholders other than Julian and James have voted against, there was a narrow overall majority in favour and we accept that outcome.”
Superdry’s total group revenue dropped 1.5% year on year to £269.3m, for the 13 weeks to 26 January as store and ecommerce sales flagged. The brand blamed “ongoing legacy product issues” for the disappointing results.
In the 26 weeks to 27 October underlying profits were down 49% to £12.9m.
Chairman Peter Bamford announced last month that he would step down by the end of the year.
Dunkerton was chief executive at the brand until 2014, when Euan Sutherland took over the role.
- Drapers analyses what changes need to be made to revive Superdry’s fortunes here.