Influential shareholder offloads £80m worth of shares in Boohoo

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Influential shareholder offloads £80m worth of shares in Boohoo
Standard Life Aberdeen's Boohoo share sale was worth nearly £80 million at Thursday’s closing price.
// Standard Life Aberdeen sells 27m shares in Boohoo this week – more than half of its original stake in the retailer
// it said Boohoo’s response to slavery allegations at its Leicester factory was “inadequate”

One of Boohoo’s biggest shareholders has dumped most of its stock in the online fashion retailer and criticised its response to allegations of slavery at its Leicester factory.

According to the Financial Times, Standard Life Aberdeen said Boohoo’s response to the allegations, in which the retailer said it would conduct a supply chain review, was “inadequate”

The Guardian reported that Standard Life Aberdeen sold off 27 million shares in Boohoo this week – more than half of its original stake in the retailer.


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The sale was reportedly worth nearly £80 million at Thursday’s closing price.

Standard Life Aberdeen has been a shareholder in Boohoo since 2015, when it was first listed on the stock market.

The news comes after Boohoo saw its share price recover by 27 per cent yesterday as investors jumped on “a buying opportunity”.

The online fashion giant has endured a dismal week, seeing roughly £2 billion wiped off of its £5 billion market capitalisation, while big name brands including Zalando, Next and Asos pulled Boohoo’s goods from their sites.

Ealier in the week, The Sunday Times published a report alleging that workers in a Leicester factory making clothes for Boohoo were being paid as little as £3.50 an hour.

On Wednesday, Boohoo launched an independent investigation headed by top barrister, and former head of law firm Mishcon de Reya’s white collar crime unit, Alison Levitt QC.

Alongside the investigation, Boohoo has pledged £10 million to eradicate malpractice in its supply chain.

News has also emerged that the National Crime Agency (NCA) was looking into reports of modern slavery in the Leicester textile industry, according to Retail Week.

An NCA spokesperson said it received “information regarding allegations of modern slavery and exploitation” in the city’s textile industry a number of visits to certain businesses were made this week.

The spokesperson also Retail Week that the NCA was now “assessing that information” with other official bodies such as HMRC, Home Office Immigration Enforcement, Leicester City Council, Labour Abuse Authority and Leicestershire Police.

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