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Lush complains to watchdog about shares row with former director

Sophie Smith
16 March 2023

Lush has complained to the City watchdog about a former director as a dispute over the control of a large stake in the brand continues.

The company has made an official complaint about investment company Silverwood Brands with the Financial Conduct Authority and the Aquis stock exchange, according to The Telegraph.

Silverwood Brands is controlled by former Lush director Andrew Gerrie, who is seeking approval for the transfer of a £220 million shareholding in the retailer.

Gerrie, who joined Lush shortly after the company was founded, was handed shares in the business under strict conditions governing their forward sales.

Under the reported terms, Lush has the right of first refusal if Gerrie wants to sell any of his holding. Shares must also be paid for in cash at a valuation that is independently verified.

Gerrie is looking to transfer a 20% stake in Lush to Silverwood Brands. Last month, he accused the cosmetics company of failing to record the valid transfer of a his stake.

Lush has complained that Gerrie has misled the stock market about the viability of the transfers. It also claimed that it was misleading of Silverwood to say last month that the retailer had rejected the transfer request “without reason”.

The Telegraph said that Lush is believed to have told regulators it wrote to Silverwood Brands on February 14 2023, clearly explaining why it was rejecting the deal.

“Silverwood Brands plc rejects Lush’s claims which are totally unfounded. All statements made by Silverwood Brands plc in its RNS statements have been correct,” Silverwood Brands told The Telegraph.

Gerrie has appointed lawyers to advise Silverwood Brands on the transfer.

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