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Boohoo co-founder's re-election opposed by 12% of investors in AGM vote

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FILE PHOTO: A woman poses with a smartphone showing the Boohoo app in front of the Boohoo logo on display in this illustration
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LONDON (Reuters) -Some 12% of votes cast at Boohoo's annual shareholders' meeting on Friday opposed the re-election to the board of the British online fashion retailers' co-founder and executive director Carol Kane.

Ahead of the meeting, investor advisory groups Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) had recommended shareholders vote against her re-election because of concerns over how Boohoo dealt with worker conditions in its supply chain and over executive pay.

Boohoo, which sells clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products targeted at 16- to 40-year-olds, said 11.96% of votes cast at its annual general meeting (AGM) were against the resolution to re-elect Kane, while 88.04% were in favour.

"The board is delighted that shareholders have recognised the important and very specific role Carol has on the board with a very strong vote in her favour," Boohoo said.

Boohoo's other co-founder Mahmud Kamani did not face a vote on his re-election this year.

In September, Boohoo accepted all the recommendations of an independent review that found major failings in its supply chain in England after newspaper allegations about working conditions and low pay in factories in the Leicester area.

The group pledged to fix the problems with its 'Agenda for Change' programme.

On Tuesday, Boohoo said the programme had made "excellent progress". It said it was on track to publish a global supplier list in September and continued to review its manufacturing supplier base.

Boohoo has also faced investor criticism over a bonus scheme which would pay up to 150 million pounds ($207.4 million) to its founders and executives if its share price rises 66% over three years from June 2020.

A separate bonus scheme for CEO John Lyttle could net him 50 million pounds if Boohoo's market value reaches 6 billion pounds by 2024.

At the AGM 20.2% of votes cast opposed Boohoo's pay report, an improvement on last year's 34.08% vote against.

"The remuneration committee looks forward to ongoing engagement with the group’s shareholders as it continues to shape the group’s future remuneration policy," Boohoo said.

($1 = 0.7234 pounds)

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Michael Holden and Louise Heavens)