Investors responded by slicing 32.50 per cent off BWX’s share price cutting it to as low as $1.38, its lowest point seen since January and well below its $7.74 high of early 2018. The stock recovered a little by day’s end trading at $1.70 in the late afternoon representing a one day fall of 15.25 per cent.
Mr Fenlon, a current non-executive director of BWX, said he was excited to confront the “challenges shareholders want us to face into” when he begins his role as global CEO in July.
Not long after taking the job, Mr Anceschi said the company had been hampered by a distracting bid from then-BWX CEO John Humble and his finance director Aaron Finlay for the company backed by Bain Capital.
The two executives offered $6.60 per share at a time when the share price was $4.40. Talks were called off in September with the BWX board saying the Bain consortium had not been able to submit a binding proposal.
At the same time Mr Humble and Mr Finlay resigned their positions.
Mr Fenlon said he still had global expansion ambitions for BWX despite its recent turmoil.
Growth for us is multi-faceted and multi-country … we’ll continue to grow exponentially in high single-digits
“Growth for us is multi-faceted and multi-country … we’ll continue to grow exponentially in high single-digits,” he said.
BWX’s brand Sukin is the top natural skincare brand in Australia, while its Andalou brand tops the US market. The company said that it was negotiating with Andalou’s founders Stacey Kelly Egide and Mark Egide over their departure.
Mr Fenlon said the company would look to introduce its brands into 22 countries, with Sukin products currently being introduced to the US.
“We think BWX is well-positioned to take a larger share of the pie,” he said.
BWX’s board will undergo a rejuvenation to ensure the company has the the capacity to continue its global expansion.
Mr Fenlon has sat on the board for one year, while two other non-executive directors were appointed last December, with another set to be appointed soon.
Chairman Ian Campbell said significant effort was need to build capability to “support a business of BWX’s size”.
“The business needs further discipline, process and rigour to build scale and take advantage of the significant opportunities ahead,” he said.
BWX’s largest shareholder, Bennelong Funds Management, declined to comment.
Paul is a reporter for The Age.