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The New Zealand-based retailer has taken over the iconic Australian surf brand for A$350 million ($236 million).
Rip Curl was founded in 1969 by Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick, in Torquay. The company has been in the hands of the duo ever since.
Rip Curl sells surf-related products ranging from wetsuits, swimwear and watches to beach lifestyle apparel, equipment and accessories. It has a presence Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, South East Asia and Brazil.
Rip Curl chief executive Michael Daly would continue to lead Rip Curl from its headquarters in Torquay, Victoria. Hamilton Hindin Greene investment advisor Grant Davies said Kathmandu paid a fair price for what was a reasonably large aquisition.
However, the aquisition increased Kathmandu’s risk profile and some investors may have preferred the company to continue focusing on its existing business which had been performing well over the past few years. He said Kathmandu should have no problems raising the money needed to buy Rip Curl.
Kathmandu aims to give birth to a “global outdoor and actions sports company” with annual revenues of NZ$1 billion ($626 million).
Although well known in Australia and New Zealand, the Kiwi camping gear brand hopes to take advantage of the synergies to conquer the European and North American markets.
The new group will have a combined footprint of 341 owned retail stores, 254 licensed stores, and over 7,300 wholesale doorways globally. The new owners of “the ultimate surfing company” believe that the recent acquisition will diversify Kathmandu’s product offering.
Michael Daly, CEO of Rip Curl, will continue to lead the company in Torquay.
“There is a strong cultural alignment between our brands, underpinned by a shared focus on quality, innovation, and sustainability,” notes Xavier Simonet, CEO of Kathmandu.
“We’re pleased that the founders and CEO wish to remain invested in the ongoing success of Rip Curl under Kathmandu ownership.”
The transaction will require shareholder approval at a meeting held in Sydney at 12pm on October 18 New Zealand time. If approved the transaction was expected to be completed by the end of 2019.