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TMCNet:  WSJ: Lululemon Founder Looks To Shake Up Board

[June 22, 2014]

WSJ: Lululemon Founder Looks To Shake Up Board

(dpa-AFX International Compact Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) OTTAWA (dpa-AFX) - Lululemon Athletica Inc. (LULU) founder Dennis "Chip" Wilson is looking to shake up the company's board and gain more influence over the Canadian yogawear maker's operations, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.


According to the WSJ report, Wilson could launch a proxy fight to win additional seats or team up with a private equity firm in a buyout of the company, which currently has a market capitalization of $5.85 billion. Alternatively, he could sell his 28 percent stake in the company, though he is said to have not yet determined his course of action.

Wilson is reportedly working with bankers at Goldman Sachs as he weighs options. Goldman Sachs, which helped take Lululemon public in 2007, has a long relationship with Wilson. The founder had stepped down as chairman of the company in May and relinquished his role as CEO in 2005.

According to the WSJ report, Wilson, who founded Lululemon in 1998, wants the company to return to its roots by making product development a top priority. He is said to have expressed his dissatisfaction to the board on several occasions before going public with his concerns.

Lululemon made headlines last year when customers complained that some of their black yoga pants being too sheer. The recall of these products cost the company millions of dollars and dented its image.

In December 2013, Lululemon said its board of directors appointed Laurent Potdevin as the company's chief executive officer and a member of the board. Potdevin succeeded Christine Day, who had served as the company's CEO since 2008.

In mid-June this year, Lululemon said its first-quarter profit more than halved from last year despite higher revenues. At that time, the company also said that its chief financial officer John Currie plans to retire by the end of the fiscal year.

LULU closed Friday's trading at $40.23, down $0.04 or 0.10 percent on a volume of 2.69 million shares.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX

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