MANUFACTURING

Columbia Sportswear Completes Acquisition of Prana Apparel

For Prana, a Southern California company founded in 1993 as a yoga wear and climbing-apparel brand, the third time may prove to be the charm.

The company, which was bought by Liz Claiborne Inc. in 2005 and then sold back to its original owners in 2008, has been sold to Columbia Sportswear Co. for $190 million.

Columbia Sportswear, based in Portland, Ore., announced that the purchase of Prana was completed on May 30. Prana joins Columbia’s other brands, which are Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, Sorel and Montrail.

Prana, founded by Beaver and Pam Theodosakis, will keep its headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. Scott Kerslake will continue as president and report directly to Columbia Sportswear President and Chief Executive Tim Boyle.

“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 operation platforms to expand across key geographic markets,” Boyle said. “With this important acquisition complete, we look forward to providing growth-driving resources to Scott Kerslake and the entire Prana team.”

Prana’s sales are expected to hit more than $100 million this year. Columbia expects Prana’s sales in 2015 to increase at a double-digit rate over 2014.

Liz Claiborne bought Prana in 2005 for $34.5 million. But three years later, when the New York company was shedding its stable of brands, it sold Prana back to the California company’s management team and private equity firm Steelpoint Capital Partners for $36.5 million.

Prana—which makes stylish wear for yoga, rock climbing and outdoor activities—was an early adapter of sustainable practices in its operation and supply chain and one of the first companies to offer Free Trade USA–certified products and accessories.

The company was an early adapter of organic cotton. Recycled hangtags have been with the company since it launched.

And with the yoga spirit in mind, the company still sounds a gong at 2:45 every afternoon for one minute of silence—even at meetings.

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