Lululemon founder Wilson sells shares, ends battle

Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) founder Chip Wilson agreed to sell half his stake in the retailer, 27.7 percent, to Advent International for $845 million. The move will end Wilson's approximately one-year battle with the board.

Since Wilson stepped down as chairman in December, he's repeatedly complained about the company's new direction, announcing in July that he would attempt to buy back the company and make it private.

In a new change of heart, he has agreed to sell some of his shares to Advent, along with providing two board seats to Advent Managing Partner David Mussafer and Advent Managing Director Steve Collins as part of a support agreement, reported Bloomberg. Mussafer will act as co-chairman with current chairman, Michael Casey.

"I am delighted with the addition of David and Steven as new directors, both of whom are very familiar with our company and bring significant expertise. Lululemon is well-positioned to successfully execute on its strategic goals, and I look forward to working alongside the entire board and management team as we focus on leveraging our core values of product and innovation to enhance value for all shareholders," Wilson wrote in a statement, reported Forbes.

The stake sold represents 13.9 percent of outstanding shares. The deal is expected to close in 30 to 60 days.

Wilson resigned as chairman after a recall on yoga pants that turned out to be see-through—a bungle that was further exacerbated by Wilson's comments that women's bodies were to blame for the sheerness. The first half of the year was subsequently plagued by dropping sales, leading up to the resignation of Lululemon's CEO Christine Day.

Wilson sold 48 percent of his stake in Lululemon to Advent and Highland Capital Partners in 2005 for $93 million. Advent relenquished its original investment in 2009.

For more:
-See this Bloomberg article
-See this Forbes article

Related stories:
Lululemon names new CEO; Founder Chip Wilson resigns as chairman  
Lululemon CEO stepping down after sheer fabric headache
Lululemon makes Lululemonade in the wake of its yoga-pants fiasco
Report: Lululemon's business strategy doesn't include plus-size customers
Lululemon says it doesn't hide larger sizes, but won't go any bigger

 


 

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