After 50 years of private ownership, the founders of true blue Aussie surf brand Rip Curl, Brian Singer and Douglas Warbrick, have decided it’s time to paddle in.
The beloved Aussie surf brand Rip Curl has been sold to Kathmandu for $350 million (AUD), turning the outdoor adventure gear brand into a $1 billion company. Kathmandu CEO Xavier Simonet says that the acquisition of Rip Curl will help turn Kathmandu into a company that covers outdoor adventure equipment for all seasons, widen its geographical reach and help both brands expand internationally.
‘We are excited about the opportunity to partner with another iconic Australasian brand that shares our vision of creating high quality functional products for outdoor and action enthusiasts. We look forward to continuing to grow the Rip Curl brand as part of the Kathmandu Group.’ – Rip Curl CEO, Michael Daly
With a vision of being the ‘ultimate surfing company’, Rip Curl was born on Bell’s Beach in 1969, where it still resides today. Since its inception, the brand has become much more than just a surf apparel company. Rip Curl has gone on to sponsor some of surfing’s most renowned athletes, including Mick Fanning and Bethany Hamilton, and plays host to premier global competitions, including the Bell’s Beach Pro.
The two brands combined will have a major global presence of 341 owned retail stores, 254 licensed stores and over 7,300 wholesale doorways across the globe.
Kathmandu CEO Xavier Simonet has said, ‘The combination of Kathmandu, Oboz and Rip Curl achieves diversification in product, channel, geography and seasonality, and creates a platform for the acceleration of our brands’ global expansion into new channels and markets. Importantly, there is also strong cultural alignment between our brands, underpinned by a shared focus on quality, innovation and sustainability.’
So fear not surfer nerds! You shouldn’t see too much change to your favourite surf brand. Rip Curl will continue to keep its own brand identity and will continue to be run from its home in Torquay, Victoria under the current CEO Michael Daly. You’ll still be able to smack the lip in your favourite Rip Curl wettie. And who knows, maybe there’ll be a duck down puffer version on the horizon.
Feature photo by Jon Harris
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