NEW YORK — In an interview this week, True Religion Jeans founder Jeffrey Lubell confirmed that his recent merger of his company into the shell of a publicly traded enterprise founded to hunt for valuable minerals was the conclusion of a months-long search for a way to ensure that his company was able to stand on its own feet.

“With my other two brands, I made bad decisions,” he explained, in reference to his earlier loss of control over the Bella Dahl and Hippie Jeans brands through court fights with partners. “I said, ‘I’d rather do things myself than to sell out and go through that again.’ When you find a partner, you have to answer to someone else’s rules and regulations because people who put the money in think they deserve majority ownership.”

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