© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a window display at a Superdry store in London

(Reuters) – The founder and former boss of Superdry, Julian Dunkerton, is set to return to the board of the British fashion group after winning the support of shareholders by a narrow margin, initial votes showed on Tuesday.

Superdry said proxy votes cast ahead of a meeting of investors showed Dunkerton had secured 50.75 percent of the votes cast for his reappointment as a director.

The final outcome will be declared once votes cast at the general meeting itself are included.

Dunkerton, who owns 18.4 percent of Superdry’s equity, had quit the firm a year ago after a row over strategy. He particularly does not agree with Superdry’s product and internet plans.

Superdry, whose main products are sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets, has issued a string of profit warnings, the latest in December, and its shares have slumped 64 percent over the last year. It has been led by Chief Executive Euan Sutherland since 2014.

Superdry’s board had opposed Dunkerton’s return, saying it would be highly disruptive and could trigger resignations.

Dunkerton and Superdry’s co-founder and former brand and design director James Holder, who has a 9.7 percent stake, also wanted to place Peter Williams (NYSE:), an industry veteran who is the current chairman of online fashion retailer Boohoo, onto the board as a non-executive director.

The proxy votes showed Williams had also won the support of 50.74 percent of votes cast.

Shares in Superdry were down 2 percent at 1114 GMT.

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2019-04-02