The billionaire founder of Lululemon Athletica Inc. has made US$32.3 million in three months off his investment in Anta Sports Products Ltd. as the Chinese company’s shares soar despite multiple short-seller attacks.
Dennis “Chip” Wilson has seen his stake in China’s biggest sportswear maker gain 32 per cent after strong earnings boosted Anta’s shares last week, extending a rally that’s now at 72 per cent for the year. Anta reported 28 per cent growth in net income for the first half of 2019, beating analysts’ estimates.
Anta’s continued rally comes in defiance of attacks by short sellers Blue Orca Capital LLC and Muddy Waters Capital LLC, which issued critical reports less than six weeks apart earlier this year questioning the company’s accounting and corporate governance. Investors shrugged off the allegations — which the company said were untrue and showed a lack of knowledge about business operations — and sent its stock to an historic high.
The Jinjiang, Fujian-based company has ambitions to become a global sportswear giant to rival Nike Inc. and Adidas AG. Last December, it agreed to pay US$5.2 billion for Finland’s Amer Sports Oyj, which makes Atomic ski equipment and Saloman ski boots. Wilson’s subsequent investment in Anta was due to the fact that he had also been pursuing Amer, Anta said.
Wilson’s 0.59 per cent stake in Anta is now valued at HK$1.03 billion, up a third from the HK$778 million he paid at the end of May.