Retail

Superdry co-founder nets another £71m from stake sale


Julian Dunkerton, the co-founder of successful casual clothing brand Superdry, has pocketed £71m by selling a large chunk of his shares in the business.

Mr Dunkerton, who also raised £18m for himself from selling Superdry shares in January, has sold a further 6.7 per cent of the business at £12.85 per share.

The Superdry co-founder stepped down from his role in the business in March, which he said was to focus on other businesses and charitable projects.

Mr Dunkerton’s share sale in January took advantage of an impressive run-up in Superdry’s share price, which rose to a five-year high of £20.74 on January 5 after brisk festive trading in its shops and online.

UBS, which managed the placing, did not state the reason for Mr Dunkerton’s share sale on Monday evening, which was completed at a price 38 per cent below the January high. Following this share sale, UBS said, Mr Dunkerton has agreed not to sell any more of his stock for 90 days.

Superdry shares slipped almost 6 per cent shortly after Tuesday’s open in London.

Mr Dunkerton was involved with Superdry since 1985, when he set up a market stall called Cult Clothing in Cheltenham, funded by a £2,000 loan from his father. Superdry, then named Supergroup, floated in London in 2010 with a valuation of just under £400m. Its stock market value is now £1.1bn.

With a net worth estimated at £441m by the Sunday Times, Mr Dunkerton owns Dunkertons Cider and a set of luxury hotels in the Cotswolds.

The fashion entrepreneur first sold a large block of shares in Superdry in 2016, raising £53m to fund a divorce settlement.

When stepping down from the business in March, he said he had “other demands on his time” and that this was “the right point” for him to “transition my focus and responsibilities”.

Superdry, whose clothes often feature Japanese slogans has been a rare bright spot in a British retail industry dogged by high rents, consumer caution and rising labour and materials costs, despite some of those slogans not making any sense in Japanese.

In the year to April, the group’s sales rose 16 per cent to £872m while its underlying pre-tax profits gained 12 per cent to £97m. On a statutory basis, its pre-tax profits fell 23 per cent to reflect a downgrade in the value of an underperforming store in Berlin. Superdry, however, has guided investors to expect high single-digit revenue growth in the year ahead, with its online sales achieving growth in the mid to high teens.



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