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Shareholders urged to oppose re-election of Jimmy Choo chairman

Lauretta Roberts
01 June 2017

Shareholder advisory groups Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) have issued advice to Jimmy Choo shareholders to oppose the re-election its chairman at its AGM tomorrow.

According to City AM, Pirc has argued that Peter Harf's re-election should be opposed because he also sits on the board of the brand's controlling stakeholder JAB Luxury and is therefore not independent. It also stated that the appointments of non-executive directors Fabio Fusco, Olivier Goudet and Anna-Lena Kamenetzky should be opposed because they were all appointed by JAB Luxury, which holds 68% of Jimmy Choo's shares. Around a quarter of its shares are floated on the London Stock Exchange.

In its note to shareholders ISS said Harf, whose appointment two years ago was initially said to be temporary, chairs the joint remuneration and nomination committee. Chairs should only sit on such committees if they were independent at the time of their appointment "but, in any case, should not chair the committee", it said.

JAB Luxury recently announced it was exploring options for Jimmy Choo - which it acquired in 2014 from Labelux and which it partly floated later that year - including a possible sale of the business. US giant Coach, which is in the midst of completing the acquisition of smaller rival Kate Spade has been linked to a potential purchase of the luxury footwear and accessories brand.

The brand was founded by the shoe designer of the same name and former Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon in 1996. The pair later fell out and Jimmy Choo exited the business but his niece Sandra Choi remains its creative director. Mellon left the business in 2011 following its sale by then owner Towerbrook Capital to Labelux. She has since gone on to set up a brand under her own name in the US.

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