Orange County Business Journal

Rip Curl Considers Sale of Company

Kari Hamanaka Monday, September 17, 2012

Australia-based Rip Curl Group Pty. Ltd. said Sunday it has hired Merrill Lynch to advise on a possible sale of the surf apparel company.

A report from local newspaper Australian Financial Review said the company could sell for as much as $525 million. That equates to about 10 times the company’s projected 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $49 million, the report said.

Rip Curl has U.S. headquarters in Costa Mesa, with about 175 OC employees, according to a recent Business Journal estimate. The Business Journal estimates Rip Curl USA had sales of $225 million for the 12 months through June.

The company’s Australian parent is estimated to have sales of $420 million last year and EBITDA of $42 million, according to the Australian Financial Review report.

Rip Curl said in a statement yesterday it has received “unsolicited approaches from several international organizations which have indicated a desire to invest in our company.”

Merrill Lynch was hired to help Rip Curl evaluate the bids.

The news comes as rival surf apparel company Billabong International Ltd., also of Australia—and with a U.S. unit based in OC—faces two competing purchase offers of $708 million from Texas-based private equity firm TPG Capital LP and a confidential party.