SYDNEY — New Zealand outdoor retailer Kathmandu Holdings is due to acquire Australian surf brand Rip Curl for 350 million Australian dollars.
In a statement to the Australian and New Zealand securities exchanges on Tuesday, the Christchurch, New Zealand-based company announced it had entered into a binding agreement to acquire 100 percent of the shares of Rip Curl Group Pty Ltd.
Subject to shareholder approval, the acquisition will create a global outdoor and action sports company with a combined footprint of 341-owned stores, 254 licensed stores and more than 7,300 wholesale stockists globally.
The deal will also enable diversification into the beach/summer sector for Kathmandu, which was founded by John Pawson and Jan Cameron in 1987 as an outdoor hiking and camping specialist and posted a record net profit after tax of NZ $57.6 million, or $39 million at average exchange for the period, on sales of NZ $545.6 million ($368 million) for fiscal 2019, up 13.6 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively.
In March 2018, Kathmandu acquired U.S. hiking boot brand Oboz for $75 million. Last month, Kathmandu received B Corp certification.
One of the so-called “Big Three” pioneers of the Australian surfwear industry, alongside Quiksilver and Billabong, and the last to fall into foreign hands, Rip Curl was founded by surfers Brian Singer and Douglas Warbrick in 1969 in Torquay Victoria, where its headquarters remain.
Under the new deal each brand will retain operational ownership of the respective businesses, with Rip Curl chief executive officer Michael Daly due to remain in his role and report to Kathmandu ceo Xavier Simonet.
“The acquisition of Rip Curl transforms Kathmandu into a NZ $1 billion outdoor and action sports company, anchored by two iconic global Australasian brands,” Simonet said.
“The combination of Kathmandu, Oboz and Rip Curl achieves diversification in product, channel, geography and seasonality, and creates a platform for the acceleration of our brands’ global expansion into new channels and markets. Importantly, there is also strong cultural alignment between our brands, underpinned by a shared focus on quality, innovation and sustainability.”