Esprit struggles. The new majority shareholder, North Point Talent Limited, HQ in Hong Kong, has formally requested a board meeting to remove the brand’s executive team. Esprit said they were very surprised by the request and want to examine the reasoning behind the demand. “The possible removal of the company’s executives – commented the brand – would be a menace to the company’s existence”.
Esprit had begun a restructuring course that included the shutdown of about 50 stores in Germany and 1,200 layoffs. North Point, an investment fund of Karen Lo, who is a descendant of the family that founded Vitasoy, went from 4,93 to 12,74% ownership, becoming the brand’s largest stockholder. As per company’s bylaws, once a stockholder surpasses the 10%-mark, it has the right to call extraordinary board meetings.
North Point exercised its right and sent communication to Ratingen, where Esprit is located. The meeting’s focus will be that of discussing and voting over the ousting of the current CEO, Anders Kristiansen and the CFO, Johannes Schmidt-Schultes. In their place, North Point would like to put Marc Andreas Tschirner, Su Yi Christin Chiu and Hung Wai Wong. Esprit will have to call for the meeting within the next two months.
“We are surprised by the proposal – commented Esprit in a note -. This is a crucial moment, because we are starting our restructuring activities for the German market, our most important one, after we announced the procedure last week. The board believes that the potential removal of the executive team could be a menace to the company’s existence”. The German brand, reported Fashion United, wants to fully understand why North Point has made such demand. Insideretail.asia believes that, among the possible options, there is that of North Point wanting to sell the struggling brand.