By  on May 3, 2007

Lucy Activewear Inc., the 47-store active retailer that began as an e-commerce site, is moving toward an initial public offering, said chief executive officer Mike Edwards. It also is open to being acquired.

The Portland, Ore., company needs to raise $5 million to $30 million in outside capital, primarily to finance its door expansion. The privately held company, which Edwards said did less than $100 million in retail sales, plans to open 20 stores this year and 25 in 2008.

Founded in 1999 as lucy.com by Nike alum Sue Levine, the firm thrived during the Internet boom, but in 2001 shut its Web site and cut the majority of its estimated 100 employees. The company hired Edwards in 2004 and has been growing ever since.

"We've always been positioning the company for an IPO," Edwards said. "We've built the company around that assumption."

Edwards said Lucy would not do an IPO without market capitalization of more than $200

million.

Lululemon, a Vancouver, British Columbia, yoga line, also is taking steps toward an IPO. Edwards called Lululemon's preliminary prospectus for an IPO of around $200 million of its common stock "a good financial benchmark."

Lululemon filed a registration statement Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and a preliminary prospectus with regulatory authorities in Canada.

"I'm really excited that Lululemon is filing," Edwards said. "It clearly has created a lot of interest and it adds credibility to the active space at large."

Edwards said Lucy was open to being acquired, particularly "by a strategic player with infrastructure already built," though he has been in talks with private equity and hedge funds, as well.

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