Quiksilver parent company agrees to buy Billabong

Next steps for Billabong, which lost $23 million last year, remain unclear.

After news hit late last year that Quiksilver parent company Boardriders Inc. was submitting a proposal to acquire Billabong, the two long time arch rivals will now make it official under one roof.

quiksilver parent acquires billabong

A Boardriders store in Barcelona, Spain. Photo: Boardriders Inc.

The deal values Billabong at $300 million ($380 Australian dollars) including debt.

Boardriders Inc., and its brands Quiksilver, Roxy, and DC, signed a definitive agreement Thursday to acquire all the shares of Billabong International. Now, all these major brands will join forces with Billabong’s portfolio, including RVCA, Element, VonZipper and Xcel, creating a powerhouse of 7,000 wholesale customers in more than 100 countries, and more than 630 retail stores in 28 countries.

As the two companies become one, led by ownership funds manager Oaktree Capital Management, Boardirders Inc. has appointed Dave Tanner as its new CEO. Current CEO Pierre Agnes, will move to the role of president and continue as a board member, helping lead the integration of the two companies.

Tanner, currently managing director of Oaktree and chief turnaround officer for Boardriders, had this to say about closing the acquisition:

"The combination of these two leading action sports companies, which include a broad range of iconic brands with deep heritage in surf, snow and skate, is very exciting for all of us who share a passion for outdoor action sports. We are committed to preserving the autonomy, creativity, and unique cultures of all the brands while we leverage our best-in-class operating platform to accelerate the growth of the brands globally. We are excited to become one family with the Billabong team, and look forward to working together arm-in-arm to achieve the promise that this combination offers."

At the time of the deal, not many details were provided about what this means for Billabong and its respective brands, in terms of changes to the company structure and operations.

Over the past few years, Quiksilver has executed against a successful turnaround strategy, which also resulted in the corporate identity change to Boardriders Inc. Billabong will now be brought onto this global back-office operating platform with a goal to accelerate their growth, as well.

Curent CEO of Billabong Group, Neil Fiske, will enter into discussions to outline the future of his role, according to Boardriders.

“We have high regard for Neil and what he has accomplished over the years,” said Matt Wilson, chairman of Boardriders and managing director and co-portfolio manager at Oaktree. “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 brand."

It’s still unclear how the turnaround strategy will look for Billabong and its portfolio, which saw loses upwards of $23 million last year. We will have more information on this merger as it becomes available.

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