A few years ago, Rip Curl was looking at listing the business or selling it off for a valuation around the $400 million mark. Time has not been kind to the surfwear companies but if you compare the damage to the two main rivals, Rip Curl has remained fairly stable and certainly missed all the bad press. Recently they needed to value the company to buy out a couple of former directors and the settled valuation is $310 million – nearly 25% of the value gone if the original ask was accurate.
They claim their stability is based on a focus on core products like wetsuits that are less susceptible to changes in consumer taste which is certainly a good call. But doing so would have constrained the growth during the boom times as well. Having said that, although figures are hard to come by, the rumour has always been that Rip Curl was the most consistently profitable of the big three, had better margins and more constrained costs.
Either way, it’s interesting to see these valuations in a historical context – hit this link for the press release.