lululemon athletica founder Chip Wilson has sold half of his shares to private equity firm Advent International for $845 million.
Wilson owns 27 per cent of the company, of which half will now be owned by the U.S. firm. Two of Advent’s senior managers will also be added to lululemon’s board of directors.
The transaction will be finalized over the next one to two months, with both Wilson and the equity firm each owning 20.1 million shares of the Vancouver-based yoga garment retailer giant. Advent was previously one of the company’s earliest and largest investors.
In return for the deal, Wilson will not start a proxy battle against the company’s governance and management until the annual shareholder meeting in 2016. Over the past year, ever since the controversy over his on-air women’s yoga pants statement, he has been fighting against the company’s direction and leadership.
Wilson resigned from the position of lululemon’s chairman in December 2013 and was replaced by Michael Casey.
Swiss-born Laurent Potdevin, who previously held leadership positions with TOMS Shoes and Burton Snowboards, became the company’s new CEO. He replaced Christine Day who resigned over declining sales and the drop in the value of company shares following the company’s recall of its see-through yoga pants in March 2013.