Danier Leather Inc.

Danier Leather Inc.

October 08, 2015 09:16 ET

Danier Announces Changes to Its Board of Directors

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 8, 2015) - Danier Leather Inc. (TSX:DL) ("Danier" or the "Company") announced today that it is making changes to the size and composition of its board of directors (the "Board"). As part of its efforts to rationalize its operations and reduce costs, and after careful consideration and upon the recommendation of the Governance, Compensation, Human Resources and Nominating Committee (the "Governance Committee"), the Board has determined to reduce its size from six to four members. The present term of office of Clare Copeland, Thomas Haig, Stephen Kahn and Douglas Murphy will expire immediately prior to the election of directors at Danier's upcoming annual general meeting of shareholders to be held on November 9, 2015 (the "AGM"), and each of them has decided not to stand for re-election.

In an effort to foster an appropriate level of Board refreshment, management has proposed, and the Board, upon the recommendation of the Governance Committee, has approved, two new director nominees for election at the AGM. The new director nominees are Lawrence Maker, an individual with extensive experience in strategic positioning and performance improvement, and Kathy Weston, a senior executive with proven retail strategy and operations expertise. Their appointments are subject to approval by the shareholders at the AGM.

"Edwin Hawken, Chairman of the Board, and I would like to thank Clare, Thomas, Stephen and Douglas for their significant contributions to Danier over the past several years," said Jeffrey Wortsman, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that a smaller Board, as well as the diversity of new skills, experience and perspective that Mr. Maker and Ms. Weston will bring to Danier, will facilitate a more streamlined leadership structure to implement its turnaround plan."

While there is benefit to adding new perspectives to the Board, in order to strike the appropriate balance of continuity and renewal, Edwin Hawken has agreed to continue to serve on the Board. He and Jeffrey Wortsman will stand for re-election at the AGM, together with the two new director nominees.

Overview of the New Directors

Lawrence Maker

Lawrence (Larry) Maker is a strong leader with the ability to mobilize and mold personnel into a cohesive team with the clear vision and motivation crucial to achieving corporate objectives. He is an accomplished developer and implementer of strategic plans, as well as an excellent problem solver, negotiator and manager. Larry is the Managing Director and President of Soberman Maker & Associates Inc., where he assists clients and their businesses (sometimes through senior long-term assignments) in effecting improvements through strategic planning and implementation. In this role, he works with stakeholders at all levels, including public companies, and has distinguished himself as a pragmatic and results-oriented adviser. For example, from 2011 to 2015, Larry served as President of Alumicor Limited, a Toronto-based aluminum architectural products company, where he planned and oversaw its successful turnaround and subsequent sale. Previously, he was the Vice President, Marketing and Procurement for Unisource Canada, Inc., a distributor of fine papers, graphic supplies, speciality packaging and disposable supplies, where he also served on its executive committee and North American planning council. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, and is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors' Directors Education Program (ICD.D).

Kathy Weston

Kathy Weston is an executive leader with a proven track record for delivering impactful growth and transformation strategies in retail and other industries. Kathy was most recently the Senior Vice President of Strategy & New Business at Holt Renfrew, where she led the development of a corporate growth strategy to strengthen market share and enterprise value. At Holt Renfrew, Kathy was instrumental in shifting the business towards a more "customer-centric" focus, and developing the retail channel concepts for the launch of HR2 and Holt Renfrew Mens. In addition, at Holt Renfrew she worked on specific lines of the business to improve performance, including the design and launch of Holt Renfrew's eCommerce site and the Holt Icon Customer Recognition program. She also served as the SVP, Buying and Merchandising for Holt Renfrew, managing its sales plan and successfully transitioning the product assortment mix through brand rationalization and vendor negotiations. Kathy serves as an advisor to Pinpoint GPS Solutions Inc., focused on improving supply chain logistics productivity, a position she has held since 2007. Previously, she served as an advisor to SPICE Technology Group and on the board of Party Packagers. She has a B.Com (Hons) from the University of Toronto and is a Chartered Professional Accountant and a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.

Further details concerning the two new Board nominees will be contained in the Company's management information circular that will be mailed to shareholders in connection with the upcoming AGM. It will also be available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and in the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at www.danier.com.

About Danier

Danier Leather Inc. is a leading integrated designer, manufacturer, and retailer of high-quality fashion-oriented leather apparel and accessories. The Company's merchandise is marketed exclusively under the well-known Danier brand name and is available at its 86 shopping mall, street-front and outlet stores as well as the online store at www.danier.com. For more information about the Company and our products, visit www.danier.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking information and forward-looking statements which reflect the current view of Danier with respect to the Company's objectives, plans, goals, strategies, results of operations, financial and operating performance and business prospects and opportunities. Wherever used, the words "may", "will", "anticipate", "intend", "estimate", "expect", "plan", "believe" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements and forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information should not be read as guarantees of future events, performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether, or the times at which, such events, performance or results will be achieved. All of the statements in this press release containing forward-looking statements or forward-looking information, if any, are qualified by these cautionary statements.

Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information are based on information available at the time they are made, underlying estimates, opinions and assumptions made by management and management's current good faith belief with respect to future strategies, prospects, events, performance and results and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties surrounding future expectations generally. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, decreases in sales and gross margins from existing stores, a decline in general economic conditions, consumer confidence, or consumer spending or increases in consumer debt levels, risks associated with foreign supply, sourcing and manufacturing, including increasing leather prices and increasing constraints on foreign vendors' capacity, branding, merchandising, allocation, fashion and apparel and leather industry risks that can adversely affect demand for the Company's products and result in inventory mark-downs and reduced gross margin, the Company's inability to successfully implement its strategies and plans or financial, capital expenditure, cost reduction or budgetary activities and initiatives, uncertainty concerning the outcome of the Company's operational turnaround plan and strategic processes, including whether such process will result in any transaction or alternatives, the amount of borrowing availability under the Company's credit facility and the Company's ability to meet debt restrictions and covenants, the Company being unable to successfully grow revenues, gross profit, gross margin and generate net earnings or to generate the necessary cash flows and earnings to satisfy its obligations and pursue its objectives, changes in consumer shopping patterns or preferences, increased write-downs or impairment changes on the Company's assets, changes or disruptions in the credit or securities markets, or any other material disruption to or decline in the Company's operations. For additional information with respect to Danier's inherent risks and uncertainties, reference should be made to Danier's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with the Canadian Securities Regulatory Authorities, including the Company's most recent annual information form, quarterly and annual reports and financial statements and notes thereto, and supplementary information, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and in the Investor Relations section of the Company's website at www.danier.com. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to the Company or that Danier currently believes to be less significant may also adversely affect the Company.

Danier cautions readers that such factors and uncertainties are not exhaustive and that should certain risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying estimates or assumptions prove incorrect, actual strategies, prospects, events, performance and results may vary significantly from those expected. There can be no assurance that the actual strategies, prospects, results, performance, events or activities anticipated by the Company will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, the Company. Potential investors and other readers are urged to consider these factors carefully in evaluating forward-looking information and forward-looking statements and are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information or forward-looking statements. Danier disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information or forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable laws.

Contact Information

  • Danier Leather Inc.
    Jeffrey Wortsman
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (416) 762-8175 ext. 302

    Danier Leather Inc.
    Brent Houlden
    Interim Chief Financial Officer and Secretary
    (416) 762-8175 ext. 311