Surfing fans are familiar with the three biggest brands in their industry – Quiksilver, Billabong and Rip Curl. But are they aware of what’s happening behind the scenes? Who owns what or have there been merges recently? If you’re a surfing fanatic, you might have heard the news about Billabong purchasing Rip Curl. Here’s more news – the parent company of Quiksilver has agreed to purchase all shares of Billabong. Yes, it’s a signed deal. The rumor has finally happened.
In 2013, Billabong entered a refinancing deal with Oaktree but the turnaround wasn’t what the company expected. They posted a $77.1 million post-tax loss due to tough competition and stagnant wage growth. According to Ian Pollard, Billabong’s chairman, they have made progress but the risks and uncertainties were just ongoing.
Now, Boardriders Inc., the owner of Quiksilver, has purchased all shares of Billabong International Limited, which are valued at $1.00 each, resulting in a $155 million sale, according to reports. Quiksilver says that this new deal allows deeper partnerships with suppliers and customers. It will also complement existing brands.
Boardriders’s current chief executive officer and incoming president, Pierre Agnes, is excited to lead the two companies. “Creating one integrated global platform will enable the combined company to enhance its investments in product innovation and quality, digital marketing, consumer engagement and e-commerce, which ultimately will benefit our consumers and strengthen the company and industry,” Agnes says.
Now that it’s a signed deal, will there be a place for Neil Fiske, Billabong’s CEO? Matt Wilson, chairman of Boardriders, says, “We have high regard for Neil and what he has accomplished over the years. I personally have valued his keen strategic thinking and leadership. I very much hope that he will join us for the next leg of this journey and continue his contribution to these great brands.”
Neil Fiske, on the other hand, says to Inertia, “I think what you’ll see in the coming years is much more a focus on the brands themselves and a lot less noise on changes in the action sports industry. That’s a good thing. Everyone involved in this particular proposal understands the critical importance of brand heritage and authenticity; that won’t change. What would change is the ability to provide greater investment and speed in building the platforms and processes to support them globally.”
The two companies will now cater to over 7,000 customers in more than 110 countries, owning e-commerce capabilities in 35 countries, and have over 630 retail stores in 28 countries. Other lifestyle brands that will complement them are Element, RVCA, VonZipper and Xcel.
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