As more Americans practice yoga, a booming market has sprung up for stretchy pants designed to accommodate poses like downward dog.
On Tuesday, Prana Living, a yoga gear maker, was sold to Columbia Sportswear for $190 million.
Prana will join Columbia’s stable of sports apparel brands, which include its eponymous mountain gear line, the upscale Mountain Hardwear, and Sorel, the boot maker. Columbia, based in Portland, Ore., has a market value of $2.86 billion, but its shares were up 6.5 percent in after-hours trading on news of the deal for Prana, and good first-quarter earnings.
The segment for yoga gear has boomed in recent years. A competitor, Lululemon Athletica, which specializes in yoga clothes, is valued at $8 billion.
Prana was previously owned by Steelpoint Capital Partners, a San Diego-based investment firm with stakes in other health and lifestyle companies including Naked Juice and Tasti-D-Lite, the frozen yogurt chain.
“Prana fits Columbia’s strategic priorities to expand into categories that appeal to complementary consumer segments, reduce our dependence on cold-weather products, and leverage Columbia’s global operational platforms to expand across key geographic markets,” Tim Boyle, Columbia’s chief executive said in a statement.
Prana, based in Carlsbad, Calif., has a progressive corporate culture. It has prioritized sustainable production of its clothing, and works with meditation teachers to teach mindfulness to its employees.
“Of equal importance is the cultural fit and professional camaraderie we’ve found at Prana as we’ve worked with C.E.O. Scott Kerslake and the Prana management team,” Mr. Boyle said. “We look forward to completing the transaction and teaming with them to unlock Prana’s global brand potential.”
Prana’s chief executive, Scott Kerslake, will remain with the company and report to Mr. Boyle.
“Prana is a brand founded on designing stylish, functional, active apparel made in an environmentally sustainable way,” Mr. Kerslake said. “With Columbia’s financial strength, operational expertise, and global market platform, we now will be able to reach a much broader audience of socially conscious consumers worldwide.”
Founded in 1992, Prana also has a robust line of rock climbing gear. Sales at the company grew at a compound annual growth rate of more than 30 percent over the last three full years, and are on pace to surpass $100 million this year, with operating margins in the low double digits, the company said.
Prana operates five of its own stores and sells through other retailers, but said just 5 percent of its sales are outside the United States, giving Columbia an opportunity to grow the brand overseas.
JPMorgan advised Columbia Sportswear Company, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz provided legal advice.
Source: New York Times