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Richemont shareholders vote against activist investor’s board candidate

By Rachel Douglass

Sep 8, 2022



Following its 2022 annual general meeting, luxury conglomerate Richemont has announced that its shareholders have voted in favour of the re-appointment of all board members who had stood for re-election this year.

The move follows tension between the group and its activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners, which had put forward Francesco Trapani as a possible candidate and requested a number of changes to be made to the board itself.

Richemont chairman Johann Rupert previously denounced Bluebell’s suggestions in a letter to the group’s shareholders, noting that Trapani's close relationship with LVMH, a direct competitor, meant he may not act in the company’s best interests.

Richemont announced that all of its directors have been elected by a large majority of Class ‘A’ votes represented in addition to the Class ‘B’ votes.

The group’s candidate Wendy Luhabe was designated as representative of the ‘A’ shareholders by a “compelling majority”, as noted in a release.

Additionally, Bluebell’s request to amend the company’s Articles of Incorporation, concerning its proposal to increase the board’s minimal number of members from three to six, did not achieve majority approval.

Speaking on the result, Rupert thanked shareholders for their confidence, adding: “The board can now continue to work in a collegial manner, in the interest of all our shareholders.

“We remain focused on building value for shareholders by supporting our Maisons as they adapt to clients' evolving purchasing patterns, while staying true to their heritage. The recently announced partnership with Farfetch and Alabbar is an important step in delivering on this strategy.

“The board believes the current governance structure has underpinned Richemont's performance, allowing the group to take a long-term view on sustainable value creation, unencumbered by short-term considerations. We recognise, however, that there are reservations about aspects of our governance which we will continue to address."