Better than nothing, though, yes?
Want to talk exquisite timing?
Do you remember, as October opened, when Rip Curl, the last of the big three to sell, cashed in its chips to New Zealand camping retailer Kathmandu for $350 million?
The deal ended 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’s bullish CEO Xavier Simonet said that, “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.”
What’s that investment worth to Kathmandu now?
Rip Curl stores shuttered, consumer confidence kicked in the pussy, a world tour the company has dominated for the last decade (world champs in 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018) suffering the effects of verdigris as it oxidises on a billionaire’s desk.
And what’s Kathmandu worth?
Four days ago, it closed all its Australian stores, its New Zealand online operation and iced four thousand jobs.
It’s share price a few weeks ago was three bucks forty.
Now, it’s under a dollar.
(Update: Kathmandu shares have just been in a trading halt pending a “material announcement” by Kathmandu. These sorta things happen when shares are going through the floor and the company wants to get a little breathing space.)
All of which suggests today’s rumour, which comes from a source one might called impeccable, might actually be good news for pro surfers.
From Wednesday, April 1, all of Rip Curl’s pro surfer salaries will be slashed by half, with a wait-and-see attitude in place in case they have to bite off the other chunk.
The surfer affected include Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina, Owen Wright, his sis Tyler, Mason Ho, Conner Coffin and the luckless Bethany Hamilton and tour rookie Morgan Cibillic.
If there’s any sense in that damn company, Mason Ho’s salary, a pittance of what he’s worth, will remain steady.
“You know where this is going,” the source wrote.
I can guess.