Yoga-inspired apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc. said late Wednesday it has acquired a majority interest in its Australian joint venture partner, New Harbour Yoga Pty Ltd. The Vancouver-based firm boosted its equity interest ownership to 80.3 percent from the previous 13 percent stake. The remaining 19.7 percent is held by David Lawn, who heads up Lululemon’s Australian operations, and another unidentified investor. “This increased ownership interest, combined with David’s ongoing strong leadership and the expertise of the Australian operating team, provide a solid foundation for Lululemon’s expansion in the Australian market,” said Christine Day, chief executive officer of Lululemon. The brand entered Australia in October 2004 with a store in Melbourne, Victoria. There are now nine stores and four showrooms throughout Australia, the firm said. Lawn joined Lululemon in 2006, and is the former ceo of global surf brand Rip Curl and executive vice president of American fashion retailer Express.

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.