Superdry’s management has hit out at founder Julian Dunkerton’s move to call an emergency general meeting, designed to appoint him as a company director.
Responding to Dunkerton’s requisition of a general meeting, Superdry said his reappointment as a director would be “counter-productive, highly disruptive and likely to lead to resignations”.
Superdry said since he had departed last March, the board had “engaged extensively with Mr Dunkerton as well as with [co-founder] Mr Holder to ensure their views have been heard and understood”.
The retailer added that it had entered into “ongoing consultation” with Superdry’s other largest shareholders about Dunkerton and Holder’s ideas since Dunkerton went public with his views.
It said those shareholders had “made clear their continued support” for Superdry’s current strategy and management team and “encouraged the board to ensure the delivery of that strategy”.
It added: “None of the other shareholders that the board has engaged with has indicated support for Mr Dunkerton’s return to the company and many have expressed concerns that the continued public debate will cause unnecessary costs and distraction at the expense of all shareholders.”
Dunkerton has enlisted the help of Boohoo chair Peter Williams in his quest to return to Superdry. Williams would act as an independent non-executive director in the event of shareholders agreeing to Dunkerton’s plan.
Superdry rebuffed that suggestion, saying: “Given that he is being proposed by Mr Dunkerton and Mr Holder, the board has significant reservations that Mr Williams could ever be an independent director and represent the interests of all shareholders equally.”
The business will hold a general meeting within the next two months, before which it will brief shareholders against Dunkerton’s views.