The battle between Lush and its former director Andrew Gerrie over Gerrie’s shareholding has now resulted in Lush filing an official complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority.
Lush says that the shares issued to Andrew Gerrie had strict conditions attached to them which meant that Lush was entitled to the right of first refusal if Gerrie came to selling them.
In December 2022, Gerrie had sought to transfer his shareholding which amounts to 19.8 per cent of Lush Cosmetics Ltd and Lush Cosmetic Warriors into Silverwood Brands plc, an investment business under his control and that of his wife Alison Hawksley. The total consideration for the Lush shares sale was c£216.8m which was to be satisfied via the issue and allotment of 228,212.632 new ordinary shares to the vendors at 95p per share.
Silverwood received notification from Lush which said that it declined to “record the transfer of shares to the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Cosmic Circles Limited.” Lush had, it said, provided its reasons for the decision and claimed that Gerrie had misled the stock market about the viability of the transfer of the stake in Lush.
It transpires that Gerrie who left the Lush business back in 2014 and had shortly afterwards tried to sell his shares, had been thwarted at the time by a legal challenge from Lush.
In a statement, Silverwood Brands plc said that it rejects Lush’s claims ‘which are totally unfounded’ Adding that ‘all statements made by Silverwood Brands plc in its RNS statements have been correct’.
Silverwood said in a further statement “Silverwood rejects the reason given by Lush management, and alongside Cosmic Circles, it has instructed solicitors to take up the issues with Lush. Silverwood is comfortable with its position and will continue to take appropriate steps to protect its interests.”
Today, 14 March, Lush responded saying: “Lush remains of the view that the transfer of its shares was not compliant with its Articles and continues to have serious concerns that Silverwood is misleading the public in the announcements it has issued.”