Australia’s beaten-down retailers have proved attractive for buyout firms this year as harsh trading conditions battered sales and share prices. Rip Curl’s larger rival Billabong is fielding two private equity bids.
Rip Curl, founded in 1969 by friends near Melbourne, is one of the three largest global surfwear brands. It has appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch to assess the merits of introducing an investor to the group.
“We have recently received unsolicited approaches from several international organisations which have indicated a desire to invest in our company,” Rip Curl said.
It added that unaudited revenues and earnings for the year to June had increased over the prior year, in contrast to surf industry averages.