Lululemon Athletica Founder Sells 50% of His Stake

Former Lululemon Chairman Chip Wilson

Former Lululemon Chairman Chip Wilson

Vancouver—Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson has sold 50% of his ownership in the Canadian yoga wear brand to Advent International for an estimated $845 million.

Global private equity investor Advent will acquire around 13.85% of the company’s outstanding shares The company previously invested in Lululemon in 2005 and worked closely with Wilson and five of the company’s ten current board members.

Advent completed its exit from the original investment in June 2009. The group’s managing partner David Mussafer and managing director Steven Collins will be appointed to Lululemon’s board once the transaction is completed.

Wilson currently owns 40.2 million shares of Lululemon common stock, representing around 27.7% of the company’s outstanding shares.

“The Lululemon board is pleased that Chip and Advent are partnering in this transaction,” said Michael Casey, chairman of the Lululemon board. “They will bring valuable expertise and important perspective to Lululemon. Our board and management team have been consistently focused on enhancing shareholder value and these agreements are important for the company and all of our stakeholders.”

In June, Wilson criticized Lululemon’s board, just hours before the yogawear retailer revealed a slump in first quarter profit and lowered its earnings guidance.

He said the board was “heavily weighted towards short-term results at the expense of product, culture and brand and longer-term corporate goals.” However, he did praise the new management team.

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