The adventure brand Kathmandu have announced their acquisition of Rip Curl, the iconic global surf and action sports brand.
Born in Bells Beach, Australia, in 1969, Rip Curl has a rich history synonymous with surfing, sponsoring some of the sport’s world class athletes and premier global competitions. They operate a multi-channel model across the wholesale, retail and online channels, and have a global presence across Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, South East Asia and Brazil.
Kathmandu is on a journey to becoming a multi-channel, global, brand-led business, with this move following their acquisition of the footwear brand Oboz in 2018. The acquisition transforms Kathmandu into a $1 billion outdoor and action sports company, anchored by two iconic global Australian brands.
Commenting on the acquisition, Kathmandu CEO, Xavier Simonet, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Kathmandu to grow and diversify. 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.”
Under the new Kathmandu Group, each brand will retain operational ownership of their respective businesses, however, shared support functions will be considered where operational value can be derived. This will allow the Group to protect and preserve the strong brand identities and cultural values associated with each of the Kathmandu, Oboz and Rip Curl brands.
Words by Riana Dixon