Revolution Beauty: Ex-boss to pay £3m after scandal

Revolution Beauty: Ex-boss to pay £3m after scandal
Woman holding a lipstick in a make-up storeGetty Images

Revolution Beauty’s former boss has agreed to pay the company nearly £3m to draw a line under a saga that threw the low cost make-up firm into turmoil.

Adam Minto will pay in instalments, handing £483,333 to Revolution every March over six years.

During Mr Minto’s time as chief executive, accounting issues delayed Revolution’s 2022 results and its shares were suspended.

Neither Revolution or Mr Minto have admitted liability.

In a statement on Monday, the cosmetics company said it had reached the settlement agreement with Mr Minto over the events when he led the business.

If an instalment is not paid on time, Mr Minto will be charged interest of 8%.

The firm ran into trouble when auditors at accountancy firm BDO refused to sign off on its financial accounts for the year to February 2022, leading shares in the firm to be suspended on the London Stock Exchange for nine months.

There was a series of problems, including the sale of £9m worth of goods to three distributors just before the end of the financial year. An independent investigation found that the proceeds should not have counted towards the firm’s revenue.

Claims also emerged around personal loans being made by Mr Minto and its former chairman to an employee, senior directors of the group and some distributors without declaring them to the board.

Liberty Poole and Joanna Chimonides at a Revolution Beauty event in 2022

Getty Images

The investigation also heard that there were issues with the firm’s acquisition of the pharmaceutical company Medichem.

In October 2021, Revolution Beauty agreed to purchase Medichem for £26m, of which £19m was overdue, the company said last year.

Revolution Beauty said it believed it has reached a “fair settlement” for the firm.

Non-executive chairman, Alistair McGeorge, said: “We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Adam.

“This, together with the revised payment schedule agreed in December 2023 for the acquisition of Medichem, means we can now focus on the future.”

The company stressed that there was “no admission or acceptance of liability by either party”.

Revolution Beauty is still partly owned by Mr Minto. He did not immediately respond to the BBC’s request for comment.

While Mr Minto stepped down from his role in November 2022, along with co-founder Tom Allsworth, he retains a 15.34% stake in the skincare and make-up business, while fast fashion giant Boohoo is its biggest shareholder.

Mr Minto oversaw the brand’s rapid ascent, boosted by quick product launches and work with social media influencers.

It currently sells its make-up and skincare products online on Asos and in shops like Superdrug in the UK.

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By David Ryckman