Superdry shares rose 8% yesterday as founder Julian Dunkerton battled for a voice in the future of the company he founded.
The rise came after news over the weekend that Dunkerton was preparing to ask shareholders to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting designed to reappoint him as a director at the company he founded and remove chairman Peter Bamford and chief executive Euan Sutherland.
Dunkerton, who has an 18% stake in the business, left it in May to pursue other interests but has been vying to make a return in recent months.
Superdry, once a stock market darling, has fallen victim to the current downturn in retail’s fortunes, warm autumn and winter weather and its own lack of innovation over the past year, with three quarters of the value wiped from the company during that period.
It issued a profit warning at its interim results today as profits plunged 49% to £12.9m despite a 3.1% uplift in group revenue to £414.6m.
Dunketon told Sky News presenter Ian King that he would not rule out a hostile bid for Superdry but said he had tried to persuade shareholders “in the right way” and was “continuing to do that”.
He said: “It won’t take many shareholders to jump ship and force a change, that is what needs to happen now.
“The only option now is to bring me back and go ‘right, there has to be a strategic change, and now is the moment’.”
“If it continues the way it is going it’s not going to get better, it’s going to get worse, this is the moment to turn it around.”
Superdry declined to comment.