Hot new daddies for surf industry icons!
The sale of surfing’s two most iconic brands, Quiksilver and Billabong, has been swinging back and forth for a year or so now, with BeachGrit dutifully following each moment of the pendulum.
First, it was Vans circling the beleaguered Boardriders Inc, owner of Billabong, Quiksilver and RVCA, then Authentic, “a robust house that includes the licensing rights to Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali” followed by Hurley owner, Bluester Alliance, all picking over those bleached surf industry bones, brands once so mighty the entire sport squatted on their shoulders.
The original deal with Authentic shot itself, we were told, ‘cause the current owner of Boardriders Inc, Oaketree, wouldn’t let go of the retail outlets, ironic considering all that dang bricks and mortar was a millstone around Billabong’s neck as sales shifted online.
Now, Bloomberg is reporting that Authentic, which also owns the David Beckham and Shaquille O’Neal labels, and another once-great surf label Volcom, will be taking the keys to Quik and Billabong as soon as this week in a deal worth $US1.3 billion.
As Boardriders was shopping around the biz last year piss poor cash flow and maturing loans forced it to cut costs, sacking twenty percent of its Australian staff or almost two hundred jobs.
At its peak, Billabong was valued at five billion Australian dollars but eventually sold for $390 mill or one dollar a share.
Quiksilver, meanwhile, did its shirt after trying to take over the entire surf-ski market with its spectacularly disastrous buy of ski brand Rossignol for seven hundred mill only to sell it a few years later at a stunning seventy-five percent loss.