Rich lister Simon Henry emails Nadia Lim apology for 'Eurasian fluff' comments

Chemical company CEO Simon Henry has emailed Nadia Lim an apology after he made derogatory comments about the businesswoman last week.

Henry, the founder and CEO of specialty chemicals company DGL, made the comments during a rich list interview with NBR last month.

During the interview, Henry hit out at the My Food Bag co-founder and celebrity chef, suggesting her looks were to blame for the company's disappointing entry into the public market.

"I can tell you, and you can quote me," he said. "When you've got Nadia Lim, when you've got a little bit of Eurasian fluff in the middle of your prospectus with a blouse unbuttoned showing some cleavage, and that's what it takes to sell your scrip, then you know you're in trouble."

He went on to suggest Lim, a well-respected businesswoman and entrepreneur, was using her "sensuality" to sell the meal delivery service.

The remarks have been widely condemned by business leaders, the Race Relations Commissioner and even the Prime Minister - and led KiwiSaver fund KiwiWealth to add Henry's company to a list of businesses it won't invest in.

In a statement on Friday, DGL said Henry had apologised to Lim, however she said she hadn't received it. The board later clarified an apology had been courier to her.

On Wednesday Lim told Newshub she received an apology through email. She said the DGL officer manager emailed her with a letter of apology signed by Henry.

"Dear Ms Lim," the letter began.

"I have tried calling you several times on your cell phone to make an apology but was unable to get through.

"Therefore, please take this letter as my sincere and formal apology for my inappropriate language in relation to you used in the interview."

The letter was signed by Henry and dated May 6, 2022.

Henry's apology to Lim.
Henry's apology to Lim.

The email also said Henry would "certainly like the opportunity to discuss" the matter with Lim over the phone.

Lim told Newshub it was "good to finally receive something. Albeit through the office manager, and six days later".

She said she has no record of any missed calls or voicemails.

Henry and DGL have been under continued pressure with a major customer of the company expressing its concern over his comments on Monday.

International water treatment and chemical distribution company Ixom said Henry's comments were unacceptable.

"Ixom is aware of the comments made by Mr Henry and shares the view of the DGL Board that they are inappropriate, unacceptable and offensive," the company said in a statement to Newshub.

"Ixom is communicating its serious concern about Mr Henry's conduct to the DGL Board and is seeking further information from the Board about DGL and Mr Henry's response."

DGL's stocks have also dropped by 27 percent over the past five days on the Australian Stock Exchange. However, it's unclear whether the drop is related to Henry's comments or reflects drops across the wider ASX.