Lululemon Founder Chip Wilson Misses Out on Billions as Company’s Stock Surges

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California, 4th January 2024: The founder of Lululemon, Chip Wilson, has reportedly missed out on a substantial fortune as a result of selling a significant portion of the company’s shares. In 2013, Wilson held a 29% stake in the apparel retailer, valued at approximately $21 billion today. However, by early 2020, he had reduced his ownership to around 8%, just before Lululemon’s stock surged by 130%.

Back in April 2013, Wilson’s 42 million shares represented 29% of Lululemon, valued at $3.2 billion when the stock price was around $75. Over the years, he gradually decreased his stake to 13% by April 2018, even as the shares traded below $90. As the stock more than doubled to about $220 in the next two years, Wilson further reduced his holding to the current level of about 10.7 million shares, equivalent to 8%.

If Wilson had retained his initial 29% stake, it would be worth approximately $21 billion today. However, his remaining 8% stake is now valued at $5.4 billion. Forbes estimates Wilson’s current fortune at about $7 billion, potentially surpassing $20 billion if he had held onto all his Lululemon shares.

Wilson resigned from Lululemon’s board in 2013 following controversial comments, leaving uncertainty about whether the stock would have performed as well if he had remained. Despite missing out on significant gains, Wilson did profit from the shares he sold and invested in various ventures, including stakes in companies like Fila-owner Anta and Amer, Arc’teryx, and Wilson’s parent company.

Amer, in which Wilson holds a stake, has confidentially filed to go public at a $10 billion valuation, potentially doubling the value of his investment. Wilson, still Lululemon’s largest individual shareholder, has diversified his investments into commercial real estate in Vancouver. The retailer has experienced remarkable success, nearly doubling revenues to over $8 billion in the past two financial years, with annual operating profits rising by 60% to $1.3 billion.