Pure Beauty

Chaos at Revolution Beauty AGM as Boohoo raises ‘serious concerns’ over board conduct

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 28-Jun-2023

Revolution Beauty attempted to adjourn the AGM to a future date over concerns for Boohoo’s takeover proposal, but the motion was blocked by representatives from the fast fashion retailer

Boohoo has raised ‘serious concerns’ about Revolution Beauty following its chaotic annual general meeting, which saw the firing and rehiring of senior board members.

The fast fashion retailer, which is Revolution Beauty’s largest investor, voted to oust CEO Bob Holt, finance boss Elizabeth Lake and chairman Derek Zissman on 27 June.

However, remaining board member and director Jeremy Schwartz made the decision to immediately reinstate the trio, who will all continue in their previous roles.

Boohoo has called Schwartz’s move an “abuse of process” and “self-serving”, and added that the board is not acting in the best interests of shareholders.

The group said it remains committed to a “wholesale” board change with the right balance of skills and experience.

“…it is of paramount importance that the future board of directors of Revolution Beauty have direct and relevant experience of dealing with its customers,” Boohoo said in a statement.

Revolution Beauty initially attempted to adjourn the AGM to a future date over concerns of Boohoo’s attempted takeover proposal, but the e-tailer’s representatives voted to block the postmentent.

The dramatic meeting comes after Boohoo revealed its intentions to instate an all new board for the cosmetic retailer’s leadership team earlier this month.

This included Alistair McGeorge, Non-Executive Chair of The Original Factory Shop, and Neil Catto, a former Executive Director for Boohoo, who were put forward for the reconstituted management team.

The Manchester-based company also approached ex-THG Beauty CEO Rachel Horsefield to join its independent leadership team for the attempted takeover.

But Revolution Beauty hit back at Boohoo’s attempted coup, calling it “value-destructive, opportunistic and self-serving”.

It claimed that Boohoo’s actions were a “cynical attempt” to seize control of the company without proper financial guidance.

Revolution Beauty is also reeling from the outcomes of a damning investigation into management failures at the company.

The audit was initiated after the brand failed to publish FY22 accounts in February last year, and was conducted by Revolution Beauty’s auditor BDO.

However, Revolution Beauty has been offered some breathing room after trading shares were reinstated on the AIM yesterday.

The brand’s shares were originally suspended from trading on 1 September 2022 following the delayed financial report.

Revolution Beauty also posted an “excellent” sales boost for the first three months of the 2023 financial year, which saw sales increase by 60% versus 2022.

It has reported earnings of £3.5m – from a loss of £7.4m a year prior – which the business said demonstrates the quality of its products and offer.

“The excellent trading performance in the first quarter of the year is testament to the quality of our offer and the strength of our leadership team,” said Holt at the time.

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