Samsonite unveils IR chief as IPO nears

Luggage maker Samsonite has hired its first head of ­investor relations as the company plans the final ­stages of its IPO.

Sarah Merefield has joined from Wasserstein Dresdner Kleinwort, where she was vice-president - pan-European retail and luxury goods equity research.

Merefield, now director of investor relations and strategic planning at Samsonite, said the firm had greater financial flexibility since a management buyout led by current president and CEO Marcello Bottoli in 2003.

‘Samsonite is looking to grow and enhance its corporate value by seeking new products and distribution channels,' she said.

Merefield was at Dres­dner for three years and previously held a similar role at Citigroup for five years.

She reports to financial director Richard Wiley, and will be based in the firm's London HQ. She is the second high-profile hire in as many months.

In September, Samsonite, which is the world's largest luggage manufacturer, recruited ­Ketchum director Richard Brett as its first global ­comms director (PRWeek, 8 September).

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