Lululemon Athletica Inc.’s founder, Chip Wilson, reached an agreement worth about $845 million to sell half his stake in the company to private equity firm Advent International.
The deal was backed by the Lululemon board and will give Advent 20.1 million shares, or 13.9 percent of the company, and two seats on the retailer’s board.
Wilson drew hackles when, after the company recalled overly sheer black Luon yoga pants, he said the style was right for “some women’s bodies.” He stepped down as chairman this year, but remained a director. Wilson hired Goldman, Sachs & Co. as a financial adviser and started publicly agitating for change at the company. He unsuccessfully tried to remove non-executive chairman Michael Casey and director RoAnn Costin at the annual meeting in June.
“Advent is a strong partner that knows Lululemon and our culture and will be an incredibly helpful addition to the board as we build an even stronger company,” Wilson said.
David Mussafer, a managing partner at Advent, will take on the role of cochairman alongside Casey and Steven Collins, managing director at the private equity firm, will be a director. That will expand the size of Lululemon’s board to 12.
Wilson and Advent agreed to certain standstill provisions for the company’s 2015 and 2016 annual meetings.
The deal marks a return for Advent, which held a stake in the company from 2005 to 2009 and worked with Wilson and half the current board.
Advent’s Mussafer said, “Lululemon is a business that we know well and we believe has continued growth potential, both domestically and internationally.”
Laurent Potdevin, Lululemon’s chief executive officer, added, “I look forward to working with the board of directors to strengthen the company’s foundation, drive innovation and accelerate sustainable and controlled global expansion. By leveraging our design-led roots and providing an exceptional guest experience, we will continue to offer our guests the high-quality, technical products they know and love as we create value for our shareholders.”
Shares of the company gained 7.3 percent to $41.89 in after-hours trading Thursday.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)