Richemont has asked its shareholders to reject the candidate proposed by Bluebell Capital Partners at the upcoming annual general meeting.
Among the main shareholders of the luxury group Richemont are the investment funds The Vanguard Group (2.58% of the capital), Norges Bank Investment Management (2.27%), Rupert Family (1.54%), BlackRock (1.43%) or the American pension fund Artisan Partners (1.26%). Activist fund Bluebell Capital Partners, meanwhile, has invested in the luxury group for the past year and a half and reportedly holds a stake worth $109 million, according to Reuters.
Bluebell is seeking a seat for Francesco Trapani on the board. A former director of Italian luxury brand Bulgari and co-founder of Bluebell, he may be elected at the upcoming general meeting on September 7.
Bluebell wants Richemont to focus on jewelry and watches, saying that this could double its share price in the medium term.
But Richemont doesn’t see it that way and has asked its shareholders to reject the candidate proposed by Bluebell Capital Partners. “After careful consideration, the board of directors recommends voting against the nomination of Bluebell’s candidate as representative of the holders of ‘A’ shares and against the election of this person to the board of directors,” Richemont said.
Instead, Richemont is nominating independent director Wendy Luhabe as its shareholder representative. “The board further recommends voting against Bluebell’s proposed amendments to the company’s articles of association” the group added.
Bluebell, which last year triggered a management shake-up at French food group Danone, also wants to increase the minimum number of Richemont board members to six and have an equal number of A and B shareholder representatives on the board. Richemont has 522 million “A” shares, listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, and the same number of “B” shares, unlisted and representing 9.1% of its equity.
Featured photos : © Cartier