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Guess says shareholder’s withhold campaign is ‘irresponsible’

By Rachel Douglass

Mar 18, 2022

Business

Image: Guess

In a continuation of its dialogue with one of its main shareholders, premium fashion brand Guess, Inc. has once again responded to Legion Partners’ activist campaign that is calling on its board of directors to reconsider Paul Marciano’s role in the company.

In a public letter to Legion, a significant shareholder of the fashion brand, Guess accused the investment firm of creating a “massive distraction to the senior executives who have performed extremely well” and said its suggestion of removing Paul and Maurice Marciano “would be very destabilising and detrimental to the company”.

It comes as Legion continues to speak out on the ongoing string of sexual assault allegations against one of the company’s co-founders, Paul Marciano, that date as far back as 1994.

Last week, the asset management company, which began its campaign requesting for the removal of the Marciano brothers in February 2022, published a detailed report on Paul’s long line of alleged sexual misconduct and once again contended the Guess board of directors’ decision to continue working with its founder despite the allegations. However, Guess has claimed the information released is based on media reports and misinformed sources.

In its letter, the fashion retailer said: “We encourage shareholders to ignore the campaign that Legion is advancing, which the company finds not only irresponsible but reckless.”

The US brand, which published its Q4 financials yesterday, said it is currently responding to Legion’s Demand for Board Action letter and is investigating the subject matter at hand.

It continued: “The company finds Legion’s withhold campaign to be nothing more than an attempt to end-run the demand-process that Legion itself started. We believe it demonstrates that Legion is not interested in the facts, and only interested in pursuing a singular predetermined outcome.”

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