Vancouver – Lululemon Athletica Inc. is reportedly considering going private. According to the Wall Street Journal, advisors to Chip Wilson, founder, director and former CEO and chairman of Lululemon, have been speaking with private equity firms including Leonard Green & Partners about possibly taking the retail chain private, although no specific deal is imminent.
Lululemon has a market capitalization of $6 billion, and going private would require reimbursing that value plus a premium. In June, Wilson announced that he voted against the re-election of Michael Casey and RoAnn Costin to the board of Lululemon. He also said he was concerned that the board is not aligned with the core values of product and innovation on which Lululemon was founded.
Wilson founded Lululemon in 1998 and has a 27% share in it. He had been living in Australia when he was asked by the company to return and deal with a quality control issue over the sheerness of its signature Yoga pants that resulted in a product recall during 2013.
Neither Wilson nor Lululemon has publicly commented on reports of going private.