PE-Backed Kellwood Puts Yoga Clothing Maker Zobha on the Block — Sources

Apparel maker Kellwood Co., which is owned by Sun Capital Partners, is looking to exit Zobha after owning the brand for less than two years, two sources told peHUB.

Mill Valley, Calif.-based Zobha sells yoga and fitness apparel like tanks and shorts for both men and women. It produces annual revenue of less than $5 million, one PE executive says. Because the company is so small, sources said it is unlikely that Kellwood is using an investment banker to shop the deal.

Kellwood, based in Chesterfield, Mo., owns several brands, including Vince, Rebecca Taylor and XOXO. Sun Capital acquired Kellwood in 2008 for about $767 million.

Kellwood acquired Zobha in July 2011, saying at the time that Zobha was its first active wear business.

Kellwood and Zobha did not respond to requests for comment. Sun Capital declined comment.

Zobha will likely appeal to a very small private equity firm, one banker says.

“Yoga is very hot and Zobha is a small, attractive brand,” a different banking source says.

Zobha was founded in 2008 by Jamie Hanna, a certified yoga instructor who is now the company’s CEO. Zobha means “grace, beauty and brilliance” in Sanskrit. Zobha also sells yoga accessories like mats, water bottles and headbands as well as jewelry. The company’s products are available in 350 retail stores in 27 countries, including Neiman Marcus, the company’s website says.

Photo courtesy of Zhoba