ZURICH, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Richemont investor
Bluebell Capital Partners on Tuesday rejected claims by the
Cartier jewellery maker that its candidate for the luxury
company's board would not act independently.
"The reasons indicated by Richemonts Chairman Mr. Johann
Rupert against the designation and appointment of Mr. Trapani
are specious and unreasonable," the London-based investment firm
said in a statement, adding Trapani had ceased to hold "any
executive position, directorship and advisory role" at Richemont
rival LVMH in 2016.
Richemont on Monday urged shareholders to vote against
appointing Bluebell co-founder Francesco Trapani to its board at
the annual general meeting on Sept. 7, citing his links to LVMH.
Bluebell pointed to Richemont's recent appointment of a
former Hermes executive as an independent director and
said a Swiss corporate governance code recommended a cooling off
period of only three years.
It also said Richemont's board lacked an independent
director with "core skills in hard luxury" and said Trapani's
expertise in luxury watches and jewellery would be "an
invaluable asset" to Richemont.
Bluebell said Trapani was no longer representing Bluebell
because he had stepped down as chairman at the end of last year.
South African billionaire Johann Rupert controls Richemont
via non-listed B-shares which represent 9.1% of the capital, but
50% of the voting rights, which means he gets the final say on
who gets elected to the board.
Richemont shares were 1.9% lower at 0806 GMT.
(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and John Revill
Editing by Paul Carrel and Mark Potter)