Lush has complained to the Financial Conduct Authority about former chief executive Andrew Gerrie and his investment firm Silverwood Brands over a transfer of shares.

In a complaint to the FCA and Aquis Stock Exchange, the handmade cosmetics retailer complained that Gerrie had misled the stock market about the viability of the transfers, The Telegraph has reported.

In December 2022, Silverwood Brands, which is now owned and operated by Gerrie, announced that it would be acquiring a 19.8% stake in Lush previously owned by Gerrie and his wife Alison Hawksley. The transfer amounted to £216.8m payable in Silverwood shares. 

Lush refused to acknowledge the transfer of shares to its subsidiary, Cosmic Circles, saying it was “not compliant with its article of association”, leaving it with no choice but to decline the record of transfer. 

The retailer said under the terms, the board has the first right of refusal if Gerrie wants to sell his shares and they must be paid for in cash at a valuation that is independently verified.

Silverwood said: ”Silverwood rejects the reasons given by Lush management and, alongside Cosmic Circles, it has instructed solicitors to take up the issues with Lush. Silverwood is comfortable with its position and will continue to take appropriate steps to protect its interests.

”In the meantime, Silverwood would like to reiterate to its shareholders that, pending the transfers being recorded, it continues to hold contractual rights of control through an agreement with Andrew Gerrie and Alison Hawksley in respect of the Lush shares, including, but not limited to voting control and participation in general meetings, and receipt of dividends and distributions.”

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