Founders lose £20million in Superdry coup
THE founders of Superdry have seen the value of their holdings fall more than £20m in just two days after staging a boardroom coup.
Julian Dunkerton and James Holder, who still own 28.1pc of the fashion chain they set up in 2003, were hammered as shares fell 8.8pc on Tuesday and another 7.8pc yesterday.
The sell-off came as the pair led a shareholder revolt that saw Dunkerton and former Boohoo chairman Peter Williams elected to the board in a knife-edge vote.
Having left last year, Dunkerton watched as sales and profits fell under Euan Sutherland, his successor as chief executive. But the 54- year- old’s return on Tuesday triggered a board exodus, with eight of nine directors quitting.
The fall in share price saw Dunkerton’s 18.4pc stake plunge in value by £13.2m to £70m. Holder, 47, took a £6.9m hit on his 9.7pc stake, which is now worth just under £37m. Dunkerton, who is married to designer Jade Holland Cooper, 32, has promised to restore Superdry to its ‘former glory’.
He expects to take four months to turn around falling online sales, but admitted it could take two years for plans to fully bear fruit. He is likely to axe the childrenswear range and reverse a decision to shift production to the Far East.
Analysts felt investors were nervous about his prospects.
Simon French, chief economist of Panmure Gordon, said: ‘There is a concern that what is quite a tired brand is going to struggle even under a favoured founder.’
And retail expert Richard Hyman said: ‘It is in a vastly overcrowded market and that means no retailer now can really replicate the kind of performance it was able to deliver when it was less crowded. The idea of it going back to the way it was, with the margins it used to deliver, is very fanciful.’