Ontex Proposes to Significantly Strengthen Its Board of Directors
Ontex Group NV (Euronext: ONTEX, “Ontex” or the “Company”) (BSE:ONTEX) today announces it is proposing to its shareholders to significantly strengthen and diversify its Board of Directors, adding talent and experience in the personal hygiene and retail sectors, ESG/sustainability, procurement, finance and governance. Under the proposal the Board welcomes two new independent directors and four directors nominated by the Company’s two major shareholders, one by GBL (in addition to GBL’s two representatives on the Board) and three by ENA Investment Capital (“ENA”).
To support the Company’s turnaround plan, the Board of Directors has taken significant steps over the past several months to enhance the Company’s governance and leadership, including appointing a new Chief Executive Officer. Today’s actions are designed to bring in the relevant additional expertise to tackle head-on the challenges faced and to seize the opportunities available, in order to improve the Company’s performance. Strengthening the Board with these high calibre directors is an important further step in this process.
The Board is reinforcing ties with its two major shareholders who, independently, are fully committed to supporting the long-term success of Ontex. Gustavo Calvo Paz, former president of Kimberly Clark’s EMEA Division, Philippe Costeletos, founder of Stemar Capital Partners and former head of Europe at TPG, and Rodney G. Olsen, former CFO of Kimberly Clark’s APAC Division have been presented to the board by ENA. Jesper Hojer, former CEO of Lidl International, has been presented by GBL. The Board of Directors further proposes Manon Janssen, CEO and Chair of Ecorys, subject to approval by its supervisory board, and Isabel Hochgesand, Chief Procurement Officer of Beiersdorf AG, to join as independent directors.
The breadth of experience, expertise and international perspectives these profiles will bring are highly relevant and complementary to the current Board. These important additions will result in a stronger and more diverse Board that will be focused on supporting the new CEO to effect the Company’s turnaround plan and to drive change and performance improvement at Ontex and value creation for all its shareholders.
Mr. Gilberto Marin Quintero indicated his desire to retire from the Board. Mr. Marin Quintero served as a director of the Company since 2016, following Ontex’s acquisition of Grupo Mabe, the highly successful company he founded, which became a key business in Ontex’s portfolio.