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Australian surf brand Rip Curl sold to New Zealand outdoor retailer Kathmandu for $350million

Australian surf brand Rip Curl sold to New Zealand outdoor retailer Kathmandu for $350million

  • Australian surf brand Rip Curl has been sold to Kiwi Kathmandu outdoor retailer
  • Brian Singer and Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick started the company in Victoria in 1969 
  • Kathmandu announced the $350million to the Australian Securities Exchange 
  • It has occurred a year after Billabong bought by American private equity group
  • Quicksilver, also born in Torquay, Victoria like Rip Curl, is also now US-owned 

Rip Curl’s founders have sold their Australian surf brand to New Zealand outdoor camping group Kathmandu for $350million.

Brian Singer and Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick have announced they had sold the company they started 50 years ago, as friends, in the Victorian Surf Coast town of Bells Beach, near Torquay. 

Kathmandu, headquartered in Christchurch, is buying 100 per cent of Rip Curl for $350million, it told the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday morning.

The acquisition will create a $1billion outdoor recreation company.

The deal means Australia’s famous surfing brands Rip Curl, Billabong and Quicksilver will no longer be Australian owned. 

Rip Curl designs, manufactures and sells surfing equipment and clothing in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, South East Asia and Brazil.

Its chief executive Michael Daly said the acquisition by Kathmandu would end a long era of private ownership that began in 1969.

‘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,’ he said. 

‘Professionally, my team and I are excited by the opportunities that this will create and we look forward to joining Kathmandu and retaining our Vision of being regarded as the ultimate surfing company in all that we do.’

Mr Daly said Rip Curl would continue to have its headquarters in Torquay.

Kathmandu chief executive Xavier Simonet said the creation of a $1billion outdoor and sports action company ‘anchored by two iconic global Australasian brands’ would help it expand into other markets.

‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Kathmandu to grow and diversify,’ he said. 

‘Importantly, there is also strong cultural alignment between our brands, underpinned by a shared focus on quality, innovation and sustainability.’

The deal also means Australia’s famous surfing brands will no longer be Australian owned with Billabong, born on the Gold Coast in 1973, last year taken over by American private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management.

Torquay, south-west of Melbourne, was also the birthplace of another Australian surfing brand, Quicksilver in 1969. 

It is also now American-owned, with its parent company Boardriders owned by Oaktree Capital Management, which last year took over Billabong. 


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