It looks like the founder of Lululemon may be ready to move on for good. Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon Athletica who left its board earlier this year after a falling out with fellow directors, has filed documents with the SEC enabling him to sell any or all of his family’s estimated $1.3 billion stake in the clothing manufacturer.
The sale of a large part or all of his stake would provide Wilson with a huge war chest to invest into his latest venture — Kit and Ace, a clothing start-up based in Canada. The mid-range fashion apparel retailer is planning to open new stores in Australia, Britain and Japan later this year.
Of note, as far as we know Wilson has not actually sold any of his Lululemon shares yet, but he is now legally authorized to do so.
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Statement from spokesman for Chip Wilson
“The prospectus supplement filed by Lululemon simply enables Chip Wilson to sell his shares in the future, if he chooses to do so, on the same basis as any other stockholder,” a spokesman for Wilson said in an email.
More on Chip Wilson and Lululemon
Wilson left the Lululemon BoD a few months ago when it would not adopt governance reforms he was advocating.
The firm managed to avert a proxy war when Wilson sold half his stake in the company to private equity firm Advent International.
The settlement that ended the face-off with Wilson last year called for an independent expert review of the firm’s governance policies and the composition of its board. So far the company has not presented any findings from the review or made any changes in its governance practices.
Wilson and his family chose not to exercise their right to nominate one member of the board at Lululemon’s shareholder meeting a few days ago.
In an interview with Reuters last April, Wilson said he had not been able to find a qualified candidate willing to join the board since the review had not led to anticipated changes to the board’s structure, make-up and plurality voting system.
Lululemon did not have an immediate comment on the possible sale of the Wilson family stake or the current status of the board review.