For, uh, $23.7 million…
Update: Less than a day ago, I wrote the story below in which I suggested Surf Hardware International (which includes Gorilla Grip, FCS etc) was just about to be sold for bullish $160 million.
Boy, was I off. The online clothing retailer SurfStitch, which also owns Stab and Magic Seaweed, just bought it. For the very bearish $23.7 million.
You can read my other failed prophecy below…
You can react two ways to the merciless and aggressive greed of the biz world. Either crave, pointlessly, for less rapacity or you can marvel at the ability of those who can grab a co with potential, polish it a little, and offload it at fantastic profit.
“Vulture Investors” Oaktree Capital Management, which owns 19 per cent of Billabong and now controls Quiksilver Inc after its recent bankruptcy, is one company very good at this kind of biz.
Pals in the share game tell me the new, leaner, debt-free Billabong has never been a better buy, thanks to Oaktree.
Last month, it was reported that the plan was to combine to the two surf co’s.
Surf Hardware, aka FCS, meanwhile, is in the process of being sold, at least according to a recent phone call I received. Now, if y’aint au fait with the biz and its importance to our surf game, maybe y’should.
In the early 1980s, Bill McCausland and two partners founded the company Fin Control Systems. It grew. We all started buying boards with plugs in ‘em. Along came a raft of removable-fin imitators.
It all went pear-shaped when the new company’s CEO and McCausland didn’t, uh, get along. The company sacked McCausland but, wait, he had thirty per cent of the company. A receipt for harmony, yes? But, no.
Shit went downhill. I glaze over at this kinda stuff. But read it all here.
Ten years of court battles followed. Read about the case here.
Anyway, looks like McCausland came out of it with a few mill. Enough to keep the wolves at bay, but maybe tough to swallow when y’hear the biz is rumoured to be sold for $160 million, and your share would’ve peeled you off $50 million.
I called FCS for a comment, got a nice enough accounts guy who refused to comment either way but obfuscated enough to make me think, yeah, the sale is under way.
And we’ll find out if it’s true soon enough.