Aritzia Attracts US Private Equity

Hip women's fashion retailer Aritzia LP will expand in Canada and farther afield with the help of new US equity fund partner Berkshire Partners LLC, which, on December 19, 2005, invested between $50 million and $250 million (US) in the fast-growing, Vancouver-based chain. Privately held Aritzia is expected to generate more than $100 million in sales in 2006 following several years of consistent double-digit growth. Brian Hill, the founder of Aritzia more than 20 years ago, will remain CEO with the current management team intact. Berkshire Partners and Mr. Hill will share control of the board of directors. BNP Paribas (Canada) and CIBC provided Aritzia with debt financing.

Brian Hill was represented by Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP of Vancouver with a team comprised of Mitchell Gropper, Q.C., Brad Newby, Lisa Skakun, Chelsea Thompson and Christine Oberti.

Berkshire was represented by David Chapin, Christopher Leich, Phillip Smith, Jane Rogers and Benjamin Brady of Ropes & Gray LLP in Boston, and Juliana Capata and Dylan Simon in the San Francisco offices; by Stikeman Elliott LLP with a team comprised of Robert Hogan and Marie-Andrée Beaudry (tax), Peter Castiel and Sophie Lamonde (corporate), Howard Rosenoff, Michael Dyck, Marie Garneau, Jill West and Scott Perrin (banking) and Mario Paura (real estate); and by John Smith and John Christian of Lawson Lundell LLP in Vancouver.

BNP Paribas and CIBC were represented by Peter MacGowan, Silvana D'Alimonte, Ted Perlmutter and Michelle Laniel of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP in Toronto.