Esprit double blow after chairman quits

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The Independent Online

Hans-Joachim Körber, the chairman of Esprit Holdings, resigned yesterday, dealing a double blow to the clothing retailer a day after its chief executive Ronald van der Vis stepped down in a move that wiped out nearly a quarter of the company's share price.

The resignations have cast a cloud over the Hong Kong-listed but Europe-focused company's HK$18bn (£1.5bn) restructuring plan and put it firmly on the radar of private-equity buyers.

The fashion group, which generates about 80 per cent of its sales in Europe, has been trying to restructure its business as it grapples with a slump in demand due to the eurozone debt crisis.