ZURICH (Reuters) – The board of directors of Swiss luxury goods manufacturer Richemont has confirmed its negative stance towards a representative of activist investor Bluebell Capital Partners on the board.
“The Richemont board of directors does not believe that Bluebell, a fund manager with a relative interest in the company, is legitimate to represent all A shareholders on the board,” the Geneva-based group said on Monday.
The panel also considers Francesco Trapani, proposed by Bluebell, to be unsuitable due to his long and close relationship with French competitor LVMH. “The Board of Directors cannot responsibly recommend to shareholders that any person who has a longstanding association with this group and a personal relationship with the principal shareholder of this group becomes a director of our company and intervenes in the decision-making process of our company.”
The Richemont General Assembly will take place on September 7th. The board of directors of the manufacturer of Cartier jewelery and watches from the A. Lange & Söhne brand had already spoken out against the election of the Bluebell candidate last week. The London-based fund manager is also demanding that Richemont streamline its business and change its articles of incorporation. According to Bluebell, it holds a stake worth CHF 105 million. Richemont is worth almost 60 billion francs on the stock exchange.
Richemont has two categories of shares: listed A shares and unlisted B shares, which are owned by South African billionaire Johann Rupert and his family. With just 9.1 percent of the capital, Rupert controls 50 percent of the voting rights.
(Report by Paul Arnold. Edited by Olaf Brenner. If you have any questions, please contact our editorial team at [email protected] (for politics and the economy) or [email protected] (for companies and markets).)