Lush settles dispute with ex-CEO over blocked share sale

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 19-Feb-2024

The British cosmetics retailer has been in a row with former boss Andrew Gerrie over the transfer of his shares in the company

Lush has settled its legal dispute with former-CEO Andrew Gerrie over a blocked transfer of company shares.

The beauty retailer has been in a row with Gerrie’s investment firm Silverwood Brands since December 2022, when the business sought to acquire a 19.8% stake in Lush from the ex-boss and his wife, Alison Hawksley.

The shares were said to be worth around £216.8m.

Lush declined to record the transaction, stating it violated the company’s articles of association, which enables existing shareholders to buy shares that are put up for sale.

It also said the price paid for the shares was required to be made in cash, whereas Silverwood’s payment was allegedly not.

“There has been a legal dispute with Silverwood Brands Plc, a business set up by a former director of Lush Andrew Gerrie, over the attempted sale of Gerrie’s stake in the retailer," said a statement from Lush.

"However, Gerrie and Silverwood Brands have now accepted Lush's position that the transaction was not in compliance with the company's articles and the sale is not now proceeding.” 

VSA Capital Group, the broker which held the shares during the dispute, has returned them to Gerrie.

The firm has also agreed to co-operate with Gerrie and Hawksley’s objective of achieving an “unwind transaction”, which will achieve the cancellation of the consideration shares.

As part of the settlement, Gerrie and Hawksley are to pay Silverwood Brands £300,000 in cash for the legal costs incurred. 

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