Surf’s up: Rip Curl hit by M&A wave as NZ rival pounces in $236m deal

Wild ride: Kathmandu’s deal with Rip Curl leaves the New Zealand outdoor clothing brand riding high with more than 341 stores around the world. (Shutterstock)
Updated 01 October 2019

Surf’s up: Rip Curl hit by M&A wave as NZ rival pounces in $236m deal

  • End of an era as outdoor brand Kathmandu snatches control of the last of Australia’s big three surfwear brands

SYDNEY: New Zealand outdoor clothing maker Kathmandu Holdings said that it will buy Rip Curl Group for A$350 million ($236 million) in a deal that leaves the last of Australia’s big three surf brands under overseas control.

Kathmandu said that the acquisition would make it a NZ$1 billion ($625 million) company, expand its presence in Europe and North America, and give it a “seasonal balance” between Rip Curl’s summer/beach focus and Kathmandu’s winter and outdoor offerings.

Started in 1969 by surfer friends Brian Singer and Douglas Warbrick, and still based at popular Bells Beach in Victoria, Rip Curl with local rivals Billabong and Quiksilver ranked among the world’s biggest brands for sales of wetsuits, boardshorts and popular branded beach T shirts.

The sale closes a chapter on Australia’s once central role in surfwear culture. US private equity firm Oaktree Capital gained control of Billabong and Quiksilver over the past three years following troubled efforts by the companies to expand globally.

Singer and Warbrick will gain shares in Kathmandu as will Rip Curl CEO Michael Daly, who will continue in his role and report to Kathmandu CEO Xavier Simonet, the companies said.

Clothing retailers around the world are paring back brick-and-mortar operations to compete with online giants such as Britain’s ASOS and low-cost “fast fashion” chains such as Zara, owned by Spain’s Industria de Diseno Textil.

The fiercer competition has coincided with economic headwinds which have prompted central banks to cut lending rates.

“We are seeing rates being cut around the world, which means the cost of capital for foreign entities is getting much cheaper ... so we’ll probably see more M&A because of that,” said Daniel Cuthbertson, managing director of Value Point Asset Management.

After buying Rip Curl, Kathmandu said that it will have 341 of its own stores around the world, plus 254 licensed outlets in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and Brazil.


Turkey says may begin oil exploration under Libya deal in 3-4 months

Updated 29 May 2020

Turkey says may begin oil exploration under Libya deal in 3-4 months

  • Donmez said Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) would begin operations in areas under its license after the process was completed
  • Turkey could face possible EU sanctions over its operations

ANKARA: Turkey may begin oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean within three or four months under a deal it signed with Libya that was condemned by others in the region including Greece, Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said on Friday.
Libya’s internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) signed the maritime delimitation deal last year. Turkey says it creates an exclusive economic zone from its southern coast to Libya’s northeast coast, and protects rights to resources.
Greece, Cyprus and others oppose the accord and call it illegal, an accusation Ankara has rejected. The European Union also opposes the maritime deal that was signed alongside an agreement for Turkey to provide military support to the GNA, which has battled forces based in eastern Libya for more than a year.
Speaking at a ceremony to mark the launch of Turkey’s Fatih oil-and-gas drilling ship to the Black Sea, Donmez said Turkish Petroleum (TPAO), which had applied for an exploration permit in the eastern Mediterranean, would begin operations in areas under its license after the process was completed.
“Within the framework of the agreement we reached with Libya we will be able to start our oil exploration operations there within three to four months,” Donmez said. Turkey’s new Kanuni drill ship would also go to the Mediterranean later this year, he added.
The move could further stoke tensions in the region, where Turkey has been at loggerheads for years with Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Israel over ownership of natural resources. Turkey could also face possible EU sanctions over its operations.
Separately, Donmez said the Fatih drill ship would hold its first operation in the Black Sea on July 15, the anniversary of a 2016 failed coup attempt. Friday also marked the anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest by the Ottoman Empire in 1453.