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Mar 14, 2008
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Hugo Boss chairman to quit amid spat with Permira: report

By
AFP
Published
Mar 14, 2008

BERLIN, March 14, 2008 (AFP) - The chairman of German fashion house Hugo Boss is about to resign amid a row with the company's owner, British private equity group Permira, the German weekly Wirtshaftswoche reported.

Supervisory board chairman Guiseppe Vita plans to step down after the company's annual general meeting on May 10, according to the magazine's edition due out Monday.

It said his planned early departure was, like that of Hugo Boss chief executive Bruno Saelzer in mid-February and the resignation of board member Werner Lackas, due to growing unhappiness with Permira's demands.

The private equity group has been pushing for a special dividend of 6.45 euro per common share and a dividend of 6.46 euro per preferred share, a pay-out totalling 450 million euros (700 million dollars).

The plan is expected to be approved at the May meeting.

Wirtshaftswoche said Permira planned to ask for a similar dividend next year as well after it originally demanded a pay-out of nearly one billion euros this year.

It said Vita was obliged to enforce Permira's demands because the executive staff and other members of the supervisory board were opposed.

The group wants to use the special dividend to help repay loans it took out to finance the acquisition of Hugo Boss last year via the Italian fashion company Valentino.

Vita's contract was due to run until 2010.

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