American Apparel Adds Director

Alberto Chehebar’s appointment expected to satisfy remaining NYSE Amex requirement.

American Apparel

Alberto Chehebar, a partner and director of the Pepe Ganga retail chain in Colombia, has been appointed a director of American Apparel Inc., elevating the size of the board to seven and resolving the last of the firm’s compliance issues with the Amex exchange on which it is traded.

Chehebar will serve as an independent Class B director and as a member of the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee.

William Mauer, a senior partner at the law firm of Lapin Mauer since 1986, joined the firm’s board as a Class B director in November. His addition to the audit and compensation committees brought American Apparel back into compliance with the NYSE Amex LLC requirement that companies have at least three board members on their audit committees.

American Apparel’s bylaws call for a board of nine members. Lion Capital, which holds warrants for American Apparel stock and is owed about $114 million by the retailer, last April gave up its two seats on the board, held by Lyndon Lea and Neil Richardson, but reserved the right to take them back at its own option.

Lea and Richardson’s departures from the board had left it with a single Class B director, Adrian Kowalewski, the firm’s executive vice president of corporate strategy. Kowalewski’s departure in October to join Kellwood Co. as chief financial officer reduced that number to zero until Mauer’s appointment elevated it to one. But in a little-known and rarely cited requirement, NYSE Amex stipulates that there be an even distribution of directors among a company’s classes, so the distribution of Class A, B and C directors of two, one and three, respectively, was deemed insufficient prior to Chehebar’s appointment.

Glenn Weinman, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of the firm, said the company’s law firm, Skadden Arps, had been advised by NYSE Amex that the new 2-2-3 configuration would satisfy this requirement and that the firm would be notified to this effect shortly.

Although the firm continues to battle indebtedness to Lion and Bank of America, it has recently seen improvement in its operations, including an 11 percent increase in January same-store sales. It also learned last month that the Securities and Exchange Commission wouldn’t be pursuing an enforcement action based on its accounting and bookkeeping practices.

Separately on Thursday, the company promoted Stacey Shulman to chief technology officer. She was previously vice president of technology.

The vertically integrated company produces apparel in Los Angeles and operated 249 stores in 20 countries as of Jan. 31.