Strong parallels, respective strengths, bringing together marketing and distribution channels etc.
It’s been coming for a while so it ain’t a great surprise. Earlier today, the covers came off the sale of privately owned Rip Curl to camping retailer Kathmandu for $A350 million, a little over two hundred mill US.
The deal ends fifty years of continuous private ownership for a company founded in Torquay in 1969 by Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer, two wild gunslingers whose surf DNA allowed Rip Curl to thrive while Billabong and Quiksilver went public, soared, then sunk.
Kathmandu, if you’re wondering, sells outdoor gear, tents, chunky boots etc, and has stores in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
In a statement, Doug and Brian said,
“We realise, Rip Curl, our baby has grown into an adult recognised all over the planet and we are proud that we have created one of the world’s great brands.”
According to Reuters, Rip Curl’s current CEO Michael Daly will stay in charge and report to Kathmandu CEO Xavier Simonet.
“There are strong parallels with both Rip Curl and Kathmandu. Bringing them together will build on our respective strengths across product, marketing and distribution channels,” said Daly. “It will be a new world for all of us after 50 years of private ownership, and our entire crew would like to thank the Rip Curl Founders for everything they have done for surfing over the years.”
In turn, Kathmandu’s CEO Xavier Simonet said “Rip Curl transforms Kathmandu into a highly complementary, seasonally balanced, global outdoor and action sports business. The combination will support the acceleration of our brands’ global expansion into new channels and markets. Sharing a focus on quality, innovation and sustainability, Kathmandu and Rip Curl make for a great cultural fit.”
The deal, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, works like this,
The transaction will be financed through a combination of a fully underwritten 1 for 4 pro-rata accelerated entitlement offer to raise NZ$145 million ($90.80 million) and a placement of about NZ$32 million of new Kathmandu shares to the founders and chief executive of Rip Curl, who will receive a part of the consideration in Kathmandu shares.
At eight am this morning, Torquay time, all Rip Curl employees were called into a meeting to discuss the implications etc. An hour later, they’re still in there.
More on that soon.