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Superdry slams co-founder Julian Dunkerton as it sets date for vote on his proposed return

Julian Dunkerton left Superdry last spring but wants shareholders to vote him back onto the board after a string of profit warnings

julian dunkerton
Dunkerton still has an 18% stake in the company he co-founded

SuperDry PLC (LON:SDRY) shareholders will get the chance to vote on the return of the coat maker’s founder and ex-brand and product director Julian Dunkerton next month.

Dunkerton, who stepped down last March to focus on his other businesses, has been itching to return, fearful that a string of profit warnings could ‘gently erode’ the company that he spent 30 years building.

READ: Superdry co-founder plots boardroom return

The 53-year-old, along with SuperDry co-founder James Holder, called for a general meeting where they will ask shareholders to reinstate Dunkerton to the board.

The pair also want investors to elect Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) chairman Peter Williams to the board at the vote, which is to be held on 2 April.

Dunkerton responsible for failed autumn/winter range

In a statement confirming the date, SuperDry blasted Dunkerton and unanimously recommended that shareholders vote against both appointments.

The company claim that he had “prime responsibility” for the autumn/winter 2018 range, which has “contributed to the company's underperformance in FY19”.

The board also said his return would have “damaging business impacts”, while it dismissed his proposed sales strategy and criticised his leadership style.

Senior bosses could leave

Shareholders were warned that the reinstatement of Dunkerton would “damage morale” and lead to the departures of “key personnel”, including board members.

Perhaps crucially, SuperDry has said it has “strong” backing from its institutional shareholders for the current plans, while none of those big investors has reportedly indicated ay support for Dunkerton’s return.

City broker Peel Hunt agreed, saying: “To date, there is no sense that Julian has garnered support for his motions from any of the larger institutional shareholders, who we believe continue to back the current strategy and management team.”

Superdry shares dipped 1.1% to 516.7p in early deals on Monday.

Quick facts: Superdry PLC

Price: 262 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £214.92 m

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