Management / Superdry founder sells shares to fund divorce settlement

Superdry founder sells shares to fund divorce settlement

The founder of the Superdry fashion chain has sold just under £50 million of shares to fund his divorce.

superdry (PA)

Julian Dunkerton completed the sale of four million shares last night at around £12 each to raise £48 million, Superdry owner SuperGroup confirmed. Shares fell almost 6%.

Mr Dunkerton, who founded the business in 1985 from a market stall in Cheltenham, still remains the largest shareholder with a 27.2% stake in the group worth around £292 million. It floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2010.

The group posted a 54% leap in half-year underlying profits to £19.3 million in December, confounding fears that mild winter weather would force it to slash prices.

The clothing retailer – famous for its hoodie tops and T-shirts – recently teamed up with Luther and The Wire actor Idris Elba.

Mr Dunkerton is the group’s product and brand director. He was replaced as chief executive in October 2014 by Euan Sutherland, the former boss at the Co-op, in a move aimed at boosting the operational capabilities of the business.

A former rising star of the stock market, the company, which runs around 135 stores in the UK, has been no stranger to profit warnings in recent years.

It warned that its profit would be at the lower end of expectations in May 2014 because of heavy discounting by rivals, a late Easter and a lack of spring stock.

Last July SuperGroup signed a deal to take the brand into the Chinese market as it expands its global ambitions.

The firm signed a 50/50 joint venture with Chinese rival Trendy International Group that will see both firms invest a combined £18 million over at least 10 years.

It also bought out its US partner SDUSA for £22.3 million last March, ending a 30-year licence agreement signed in 2008.

The firm said its US acquisition ”is an important and natural step” in realising its ambition of creating a global business.

Photo from SuperGroup / PA Wire