Mar 16, 2021
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Herrero confirmed as Clarks CEO as new owner completes deal

Mar 16, 2021

Clarks’ new owner has completed its takeover of the historic shoe company and confirmed former Guess chief Victor Herrero in the CEO’s role he took on temporarily last month.

Photo: Sandra Halliday

LionRock Capital has now completed the £100 million investment that was announced back in November with the Hong Kong-based private equity firm acquiring 51% of the retailer.

The company confirmed the departure of former CEO Giorgio Presca, although this was far from a surprise. It had been widely reported reported last month and the company had filed a termination of appointment notice for him at Companies House on February 26.

Herrero had previously been a non-executive director and now takes on the dual role of executive chairman and CEO .

The chief executive of Guess between 2015 and 2019, he’s also chairman of Bossini and a non-executive director of Viva China Holdings Limited.

He thanked Presca for his contribution to the company and said he’s excited about “leading Clarks to its next level and partnering with LionRock Capital and the Clark family to build a strong and sustainable future for this iconic and much-loved global brand”.

And he certainly has a big task on his hands. Clarks had struggled pre-pandemic, admitting that its stores were sometimes a drag on its performance. In the year to February 2020, it had reported sales down 8% to £725.3 million. And while its losses narrowed, profits remain elusive. 

The company hasn’t updated on its sales or profits performance since then, but given the CVA it launched, it’s clear that times were tough last year as the pandemic forced its UK and Republic of Ireland store chain to shut for months on end. Its shops remain closed at present with the earliest opening date being April 12.

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