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Levi Strauss enters activewear segment with acquisition of Beyond Yoga

By Huw Hughes

6 Aug 2021

Business

Image: Beyond Yoga, Facebook

Levi Strauss & Co has announced it is to buy US-based premium athletic and lifestyle apparel brand Beyond Yoga for an undisclosed sum as it steps into the high-growth activewear segment.

The US denim giant said the move will help diversify its business and will “provide substantial net revenue opportunity over time through channel, geographic, gender and category expansion”.

The transaction is expected to contribute more than 100 million dollars to its net revenue for fiscal year 2022, and to be “immediately accretive” to gross margins, EBIT margins and EPS.

And for Beyond Yoga, the benefits of linking up with one of the world’s biggest fashion names are clear: Levi Strauss said it plans to “significantly expand” the brand globally as it continues to tap into consumer trends of “premiumization, casualization and wellness”.

The partnership will bring Beyond Yoga to more consumers through direct-to-consumer expansion, including brick-and-mortar retail, lead to gender and category growth, and further develop the label’s wholesale footprint with premium partners.

The transaction will be financed with cash and is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2021.

‘Tremendous growth potential’

It comes as the activewear market continues to go from strength to strength, fuelled particularly in the past year by new work-from-home and healthy lifestyle habits adopted during the pandemic.

Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh said the acquisition establishes the company’s presence in the fast-growing activewear segment, “with a brand with tremendous growth potential.”

“Beyond Yoga’s values-led approach to business, centered on inclusivity and authenticity, makes it a natural fit to our company portfolio,” he said.

Harmit Singh, Levi Strauss’ chief financial officer, added that Beyond Yoga has more than doubled its revenue and grown profitability “in a disciplined manner” over the last three years.

Following completion of the transaction, Beyond Yoga will operate as a standalone division within Levi Strauss, with co-founder Michelle Wahler continuing as CEO.

“We are honored and excited to become a part of the Levi Strauss family,” Wahler said. “Joining their portfolio will enable us to accelerate our growth by leveraging the experience and resources of their team and their global infrastructure.”

Co-founder and chief creative officer Jodi Guber said: “I have always had one goal: to make women feel good in their bodies.

“It was important to me that when the time came, the company would move into the hands of someone whose values matched ours. We are so excited about this partnership and look forward to a successful future.”

ACTIVEWEAR
Beyond Yoga
LEVI STRAUSS
Levi Strauss & Co