Fashion partners involved in catfight

Published Aug 6, 2007


In what could shape up to be a major cat fight on the catwalk, a prominent fashion duo, brother and sister Errol and Gloria Arendz, are embroiled in a Cape High Court battle over the way in which Errol has been running the business.

His sister and business partner, Gloria Arendz Theiler, who lives in Switzerland with her husband Rolf, alleges that Arendz has excluded her from the business and made decisions behind her back.

Theiler wants to investigate the manner in which Arendz has been conducting the business while she was away, but claims he has refused to give chartered accountant Nathan Sarembock access to the records he requires.

Theiler said in an affidavit that she and Arendz had built up the business since 1977, with her brother as the creative force. She said she conducted the administration and public relations for the business.

Errol Arendz Fashion Designer cc was incorporated in 1986 and took over the business, in which she holds a 35 percent member's interest and Arendz 65 percent. She described it as a partnership in the guise of a close corporation.

Theiler says she spends most of her time in Switzerland and is concerned about the manner in which the business is being run.

The situation has led to tension, she said, adding that Arendz had stopped all her payments and benefits.

Theiler also said Arendz had, without her knowledge, started a business called EACB Studio, and sold Errol Arendz-labelled shoes to Edgars stores.

She appointed Sarembock to investigate the situation, but Arendz has allegedly refused to allow him access to records.

Theiler stated: "I have always had the greatest respect for Errol's creativity, which has been of great importance to the business we created. I certainly have no intention of destroying what we, despite many obstacles in the past, have created together."

She added that the court should lay down an appropriate period for Arendz or the cc to purchase her member's interest or be wound up.

Winding up the business would be a last resort, she said.

Theiler has asked the court to order that Sarembock be granted unlimited access to the books and financial records and that Arendz or the cc acquire her member's interest or be wound up.

Arendz has indicated that the application would be opposed.

He has asked that Theiler provide R250 000 as security for costs because she lives in Switzerland and doesn't have any property in South Africa.

Acting Judge Michael Donen has postponed the application to November 27 and set a timetable for the filing of papers.

Arendz has undertaken to give Sarembock access to the information he requires.

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