Attallah loses battle at Asprey
Thursday 04 May 1995
"I am looking forward to spending more time with my artistic interests which include publishing and a novel released later this month," the Palestinian entrepeneur said.
The news came as the jeweller to the world's wealthy announced store closures and the appointment of a new non-executive director.
A close friend of John Asprey, majority shareholder of Asprey, Mr Attallah is recognised for his charm and marketing skills, which he used to build up the jewellery business and lead an expansion into the Far East and Eastern Europe.
His remuneration - which,including pension contribution, was more than £520,000 in 1994 - has helped fund many artistic ventures, including the Literary Review and Quartet Books.
Yesterday the company announced the appointment of Howard Dyer, chairman of Hamleys and Ascot Holdings (formerly Control Securities) as non-executive director.
Dealers attributed the rise in Asprey shares yesterday by 5p to 83p to Mr Dyer's reputation as tough negotiator with a good relationship with the banks.
Asprey also announced the closure of seven shops, including one of the five Les Ambassadeurs stores bought two years ago.
Some analysts regarded the closure as evidence of a strategy to spread the group's revenue stream away from the core Bond Street shop by diversifying into high street chains.
Most analysts felt that it was evidence the company was winding up recent acquisition -activity.
"We applaud signs that they are getting to grips with troublesome subsidiaries," said one shareholder.
Stockholders, who have seen shares collapse from a high of 331p in May 1994 to 83p, voiced concern that the changes did not go far enough.
Last year it was disclosed that the loss of a few big-spending customers would seriously depress profits.
Since then rumours have swept the market that the company has received reduced orders from the sultans of Brunei and Oman, two customers whose appetite for jewellery helped the main Asprey store in London's Bond Street provide a substantial proportion of group profits.
The company, which has £149m of stock on its balance sheet, has since launched a group-wide reconstruction programme.
"The company is approaching its considerable problems in a most diffident manner,"one institutional shareholder said.
"Waiting 18 months for the appointment of a new face after hearing the old face no longer fits is not very encouraging.
"We want someone with City credibility who can put the worst type of rumours that have beset the share price to bed."
The boardroom change will not take place until December 1996. Mr Attallah will head the search for his replacement.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
- 4 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
iJobs Money & Business
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...
£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...