Chip Wilson is making a not-so-subtle plea for Lululemon to buy sportswear company Under Armour.
The Lululemon founder and former CEO and board chair has seemingly bought a big red bus stop ad outside the company’s Vancouver headquarters in Kitsilano.
“Lululemon buy Under Armour now!” the sign urges.
“Lululemon’s business model is to have no debt and 1 billion in the bank and to be ready for an extraordinary opportunity. Under Armour is now weak. They have junk bond debt, too much inventory and technology purchases they cannot monetize. BUY Under Armour and bring it our original culture and ‘money making’ business model,” the message continues.
“An idea whose time has come,” it ends, along with a sign-off from Wilson.
Wilson is Lululemon’s largest individual shareholder and has been an outspoken critic of the company since leaving its board in 2015.
In June 2016, Wilson penned a letter to all shareholders saying the company had “lost its way” and management’s competence was “uninspiring at best.”
The “athleisure” company’s stock price is currently $67, an increase from its five-year low of $38 in 2014.
Under Armour, on the other hand, is hovering around $19 a share. Bolstering the company’s under-performance is a recent rift between its CEO Kevin Plank and some of the professional athletes it endorses over comments made about President Donald Trump.
NBA’s Stephen Curry, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and ballerina Misty Copeland have all spoken out against Plank after the CEO labelled Trump “a real asset for the country.”
Under Armour had to issue a statement in response to the backlash, saying: “We engage in policy, not politics. We believe in advocating for fair trade, an inclusive immigration policy that welcomes the best and the brightest and those seeking opportunity in the great tradition of our country, and tax reform that drives hiring to help create new jobs globally, across America and in Baltimore.”
Lululemon has not responded to Wilson’s public petition.
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