Lululemon Athletica has reached a pact with its founder, Dennis J. Wilson, potentially averting a costly battle over control of the embattled sportswear maker’s board.
The agreement ends a monthslong standoff between the high-end yoga clothing firm and its founder, one in which Mr. Wilson publicly voiced his dissatisfaction by voting against the reappointment of two of his fellow directors.
The spat between Lululemon and its founder arose after a controversy surrounding one of the company’s best-selling products: The retailer was forced to recall yoga pants made from a fabric known as Luon after customers complained that the bottoms were too sheer.
Asked about the problem, Mr. Wilson said that “some women’s bodies just actually don’t work” for yoga pants. It was only the latest instance of Mr. Wilson’s taking fire over controversial statements that he has made on matters like birth control and Japanese customers’ pronunciations of the company’s name.
Last December, he stepped down as chairman after apologizing for some of his remarks.
Under the terms of the deal reached Thursday, Mr. Wilson, known as Chip, will sell half of his roughly 27 percent stake in the company to Advent International, a private equity firm, for $845 million. The retailer will also give Advent — which had previously invested in the company — two director seats, expanding the board to 12 members. Continue reading >>