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Advent Leads US$93 Million Investment in lululemon athletica.

http://evelynatencio884.soup.io BOSTON, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Advent International announced it

has acquired a significant minority interest in Vancouver-based

lululemon athletica, the premier athletics and yoga apparel specialty

retailer. The transaction will support the company's growth

strategy in the US and internationally and provide partial liquidity to

the founder, Chip Wilson, who will retain a majority position in

lululemon. The enterprise value of the transaction is approximately

US$195 million. Advent partnered with Highland Capital Partners in this

growth equity financing.

lululemon was founded in 1998 in response to the increased

participation of women in athletics. The technical products are designed

with the feedback of athletes and yoga participants, allowing lululemon

to continually innovate the functionality and fit of their apparel. The

company offers a comprehensive line of athletic pants, tops and yoga

accessories. Today, lululemon is a premium brand and enjoys a

market-leading position in the Canadian active-wear market.



lululemon sells its merchandise through 33 company-owned specialty

retail locations, primarily in Canada with a presence in the US, Japan

and Australia. Store openings and strong same-store sales have

significantly contributed to the company's rapid growth. lululemon

has successfully doubled revenue and earnings annually for the past four

years.



In connection with the investment, former Reebok CEO and Advent

Operating Partner Robert Meers will be named the new CEO of lululemon

athletica. Mr. Meers' extensive consumer and retail experience will

be important in leading the company through its aggressive US expansion

plans.



"We will continue to provide products that reach a

well-educated, athletically driven person who want to create a great

life for themselves," said Chip Wilson, lululemon founder, Chairman

and Chief Product Designer. "We like the Advent/Highland group

because of who they have brought to the table. The expertise of the

Board and management will ensure that we are successful in the US and

worldwide."

"Advent proactively pursued an investment in lululemon because

of its leading product offerings, inspiring culture and impressive

growth characteristics," said David Mussafer, a Managing Director

at Advent International. "The broader introduction of

lululemon's technologically advanced products to the underserved

women's athletic segment presents a tremendous opportunity for the

brand not only in North America but globally."



According to Steven Collins, a Principal at Advent International,

"lululemon is one of the strongest new athletic brands to develop

in recent years. We are excited to join with Chip Wilson and Bob Meers

to further the reach of the brand and accelerate the company's

strong growth."



The women's sports-apparel industry is approximately a $15

billion market and 25% larger than men's active wear. With

impressive double-digit growth in this segment and a product designed

with women in mind, lululemon is well-positioned for further expansion.

To increase its presence, the company plans to expand on its four

existing US stores and open 15 new US locations annually over the next

five years.



Product innovation will remain a key priority as the company builds

on its heritage of providing products for consumers who choose to lead a

healthy and balanced lifestyle. lululemon has built considerable brand

equity among yoga fans, and with the number of yoga participants in the

US jumping more than fivefold from 3 million in 2000 to 16.5 million in

2005, growth opportunities for the business are excellent.



In connection with the transaction, Messrs. Collins and Mussafer

will join the lululemon Board of Directors. Tom Stemberg, founder and

former CEO of Staples and venture partner of Highland Capital Partners,

will also join the Board.





Pepper Hamilton served as the legal counsel and

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP provided accounting services to Advent

International. Sean Morrison of Capital West Partners served as the

investment advisor to lululemon.



lululemon is Advent's second investment in the active-wear

market this year following the April 2005 buyout of Fat Face, the

UK's leading retailer of active-lifestyle clothing. Other

investments in the specialty retail yoga wear sector include: Dollar Express, a US

single-price retailer acquired by Dollar Tree Stores; HMV Group, one of

the world's largest retailers of music, books and videos;

Kirkland's, the US specialty retailer of decorative home

accessories; Poundland, the UK's No. 1 single-price discount chain;

Dufry, a leading global travel retailer; ILVA, a Danish contemporary

furniture retailer; New Look Group, a UK-based women's value

fashion chain; and Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, America's

premier specialty retailer of consumer electronics.

About Advent International:



Advent International is one of the world's leading private

equity firms, with $10 billion in cumulative capital raised and offices

in 13 countries across North America, Western and Central Europe, Latin

America and Asia Pacific. Since its founding in 1984, Advent has

invested in over 500 companies and has helped businesses raise more than

$10 billion through public equity and debt offerings. These include over

130 IPOs on major stock exchanges worldwide. For more information,

visit http://www.adventinternational.com/. ;





CONTACT:

Greg Jawski

Financial Dynamics

(212) 850-5653

gjawski@fd-us.com



CONTACT: Greg Jawski, Financial Dynamics, +1-212-850-5653,

gjawski@fd-us.com, for Advent International



Web site: http://www.adventinternational.com/ ;

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