Ashley votes to remove Debenhams bosses from board

Ashley votes to remove Debenhams bosses from board

Picture caption

Sergio Bucher joined Debenhams from Amazon

The chief government of Debenhams has been voted off the retailer’s board, however will stay in his position, the troubled retailer has stated.

Two main shareholders, Mike Ashley’s Sports activities Direct, and Landmark Group, voted towards Mr Bucher’s re-election.

The board stated it had “full confidence” in plans put in place by Mr Bucher and the administration to reshape the enterprise.

Chairman Sir Ian Cheshire was additionally voted off the board and can step down.

The vote, on the firm’s annual basic assembly, got here simply hours after the embattled retailer reported a sharp fall in sales during the crucial Christmas trading period.

Gross sales fell 5.7% within the 18 weeks to five January.

Rise of on-line

Like many Excessive Avenue retailers Debenhams has been hit by a shift to on-line buying and rising prices. Final yr it issued three revenue warnings. It’s closing as much as 50 of its shops and is searching for new finance.

The board said Mr Bucher was not re-elected to the board “principally on account of the votes of the identical two main shareholders” who voted towards Sir Ian – that’s, Sports activities Direct and Landmark Group.

Nevertheless it added: “Of the votes solid… Sergio acquired 44.15% votes in favour of his re-election. Excluding these two shareholders, the vote for Sergio to proceed on the board was roughly 99.6% in favour.”

Debenhams board stated it was “conscious of its tasks to all shareholders and has full confidence in Sergio and within the administration’s plan to spice up the enterprise.

Consequently, it added, the board and Mr Bucher had agreed that he ought to proceed as chief “reporting to the board”.

Nevertheless, Sir Ian had “concluded it’s now not potential for him to stay chairman of Debenhams,” it stated.

Sir Ian had been on the Debenhams board for 2 years.

Terry Duddy, Debenhams’ senior impartial director, has been appointed interim chairman. He stated: “I recognise that particular person shareholders have wished to register their dissatisfaction.

“I’m trying ahead to working with Sergio. My first process is to fulfill with shareholders in order that I perceive any issues that they could have.”

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Mr Ashley, who based Sports activities Direct, has been taking an elevated curiosity in Debenhams.

Sports activities Direct already owns almost 30% of the shares within the division retailer chain and has provided an additional £40m funding. Debenhams rejected his supply, however stated all choices stay open.

Earlier on Thursday Mr Bucher stated there had been fewer prospects visiting the corporate’s shops.

He confirmed that Debenhams was in talks with its lenders about its £520m credit score line. These talks had been “constructive”, he stated.

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