Boardriders Acquires Billabong

As of Thursday, January 4, 2018

The surf industry’s biggest rivals, Quiksilver and Billabong, are now the same company.

On Jan. 4, Quiksilver’s parent company, Boardriders Inc., announced it had acquired Billabong International Limited. According to Reuters, the price was $155 million.

The combined company will be a tsunami of surf. The new Boardriders will sell to more than 7,000 wholesale customers in more than 110 countries and run a fleet of 630 retail stores in 28 countries. The family of brands will include Quiksilver, DC Shoes, Roxy, Billabong, RVCA, Element, VonZipper and Xcel.

In 2017, private-equity firm Oaktree Capital Management acquired Quiksilver Inc. after it emerged from bankruptcy protection. Dave Tanner, an Oaktree managing director, became the chief turnaround officer of the surf giant, which renamed itself Boardriders. Oaktree also owned 19 percent of Billabong.

Tanner said the combined strengths of these companies will foster growth. “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,” he said.

Tanner was named chief executive officer of Boardriders after the deal closed. Pierre Agnes, the former CEO of Boardriders, will become the company’s president and remain a board member.

The future of Neil Fiske, the current CEO of Billabong Group, is up for discussion. “We have a high regard for Neil and what he has accomplished over the years,” said Matt Wilson, Boardriders’ chairman. “I very much hope that he will join us for the next leg of this journey.”