Revolution Beauty slams ‘self-serving’ Boohoo coup

Revolution Beauty board slams ‘self-serving’ and ‘hostile’ Boohoo coup attempt as AGM is set to be postponed

  • Boohoo is looking to sack Revolution Beauty’s CEO, chair and CFO 
  • It wants to replace them with its own people including former New Look chair

Revolution Beauty is set to postpon its annual general meeting as the troubled retailer attempts to fight off an attempted boardroom coup by top shareholder Boohoo.

The troubled cosmetics retailer slammed Boohoo’s attempt to remove chief executive Bob Holt and senior colleagues as ‘value-destructive, opportunistic and self-serving’, adding that it is not in shareholders’ interests.

Boohoo plans to vote against Revolution Beauty’s reappointment of Holt, chairman Derek Zissman and chief financial officer Elizabeth Lake at the firm’s AMG next Tuesday. It owns around 26.6 per cent of Revolution Beauty shares.

Ready for war: Revolution Beauty prepare to clash with top shareholder Boohoo

Ready for war: Revolution Beauty prepare to clash with top shareholder Boohoo

Requesting a separate general meeting to oust the three bosses, the online fast fashion retailer wants to replace them with former New Look chairman Alistair McGeorge, as interim executive chairman, and its former finance boss Neil Catto, as CFO.

Revolution Beauty, whose shares are still suspended from trading on AIM in the wake of an accounting scandal, said it will propose its 27 June AGM be postponed as ‘shareholders must be given sufficient time to consider whether they believe that Boohoo’s proposed seizure of majority control…is a viable strategy’.

Trading in the make-up company’s shares has been suspended since September after auditors refused to sign off its books for the previous financial year.

Co-founder and chief executive Adam Minto, who still owns a 15.8 per cent stake in the firm, quit Revolution Beauty in November after the launch of an investigation into the firm’s finances.

Revolution Beauty has prepared shareholders for potential legal action against Minto.

But Revolution Beauty urged shareholders not to back the Boohoo coup, arguing its ‘current directors and management team have navigated’ the group ‘out of the chaos arising from the extensive historical management and governance issues’.

It pointed to improved trading fortunes, with expectations of delivering high single digit growth in revenue and earnings in the ‘high single digit millions’ this financial year.

The group said: ‘Boohoo’s actions appear to be a cynical attempt to seize control of the Company without financial outlay nor any compensation to Revolution Beauty shareholders, and would appear to be a reckless strategy unless Boohoo were confident of support from other shareholders of the company.

‘The current directors believe that Boohoo’s actions create considerable risk to the prompt restoration of trading in the Company’s shares and its stakeholder relationships, and appear calculated to destablise rather than support the business.

‘Boohoo is seeking to stage a board and management control coup without making a general offer, or paying a single penny, to independent shareholders of the company, and with no reasonable justification for its wholesale and dramatic proposed changes to the executive management team.’

Mr Zissman, the company’s chair, added that Boohoo’s actions ‘are a clear attempt to destabilise the business at a crucial juncture in its recovery’.

He said: ‘This will only serve to delay further the lifting of the suspension of trading in Revolution Beauty’s shares. I urge shareholders to vote in favour of reappointing the current directors of the Board and allow the management team to finish the job in hand.’

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