// Julian Dunkerton insists he has backing of key City investors for his return to the Superdry board
// Shareholder meeting to take place next Tuesday, to decide if Dunkerton should be re-installed
// Dunkerton is one of Superdry’s co-founders and retains a stake of 18%
Julian Dunkerton has said he has the support of key City investors for his campaign to re-install himself on Superdry’s board of directors.
Speaking to City AM, Dunkerton said he has had a “very positive response” from shareholders along with “multiple pledges” of support.
“Nobody that we have met during the last few weeks has pledged their support for the management team so far,” he said.
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He also told City AM that current Superdry chief executive Euan Sutherland was “too embarrassed to admit he is wrong”.
Dunkerton, one of the co-founders of the fashion retailer, has been grabbing headlines in recent months over his comeback ambitions in the wake of a string of lacklustre trading updates from the fashion retailer.
He had resigned from the Superdry board in March last year, although he retains a stake of 18 per cent.
Earlier this month, he set up SaveSuperdry.com with the aim of facilitating communication and to “maximise transparency for all stakeholders” in response to Superdry’s senior management requisitioning a shareholder meeting on April 2 to decide once and for all if it should welcome him back to the board.
Last week, his chances of winning over shareholders hit a snag when major advisory firm ISS recommended shareholders to vote against Dunkerton’s return, as well as advising to vote against former Boohoo chairman Peter Williams’ appointment to the board.
The firm said the reason for Superdry’s decline was Dunkerton’s decision-making.
“A vote against the election of both shareholder nominees to the board is considered warranted at this time,” ISS said.
Superdry’s biggest institutional shareholder Aberdeen Standard Investments also backed the company’s current management late last year.
Superdry’s board already informed shareholders in writing that there was “strong institutional shareholder support for the current strategy and management and no support for Mr Dunkerton’s report”.
Meanwhile, Dunkerton wrote a letter to Superdry shareholders earlier this month in which he urged them to elect him to the board.
He also pledged to restore double-digit percentage operating margins and rebuild profitability in two to three years, and promised not to sell his shares in Superdry for at least two years.