Skip to main content

Authentic Brands to Acquire Quiksilver and Billabong Parent

Authentic Brands Group is expanding its action sports holdings through a deal to acquire Quiksilver and Billabong parent Boardriders Inc. from Oaktree Capital Management L.P.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but market sources speculated earlier this month that the transaction could be somewhere around $1.3 billion. Boardriders also owns Roxy, DC Shoes, RVCA, Element, VonZipper and Honolua.

Quiksilver, best known for its surfwear and boardsport equipment, emerged from bankruptcy in 2016 under the ownership of Oaktree, which already owned Roxy and DC Shoes. While Quiksilver has an apparel line for women, Roxy targets a younger female fashion consumer. The company name changed to Boardriders in 2017. One year later, Boardriders’ acquisition of Billabong Int’l Ltd. added Billabong, Element, VonZipper and RVCA to the expanding company.

Oaktree put Boardriders up for sale last fall, sources said. Authentic, in the running to buy Boardriders at the time, didn’t get a deal done before the timeframe for exclusive negotiations expired.

The brand manager has a track record of walking away from talks before coming back around and getting better terms. It did so with Ted Baker, which worked out well in the end.

Related Stories

In the case of Boardriders, Authentic re-entered the fray after brand management competitor Bluestar Alliance, which acquired Hurley from Nike in 2019, saw its own exclusive negotiating period come and go without a firm deal in hand.

In a statement, Authentic chairman and CEO Jamie Salter said the deal gives the company “impressive” reach.

“Along with the great brands and impressive global reach that will come with this acquisition, we see Boardriders’ potential as a thriving online marketplace under Authentic’s ownership,” Salter said. “With Boardriders’ proven retail playbook, we also see tremendous opportunities to accelerate the expansion of its shop-in-shops, branded retail stores, wholesale and e-commerce worldwide.”

Authentic’s ownership of Volcom gives it valuable insights into the action sports industry.

“We are proud of our deep connection to the global action sports community, industry-leading brands and world-class teams,” said Arne Arens, CEO of Boardriders. “Under Authentic’s ownership, Boardriders will be uniquely positioned to expand the reach of our iconic brands to millions of consumers, capture market share in our core categories and grow white spaces, including premium athleisure, training and lifestyle.”

Boardriders brands generate $2.9 billion annually in global retail sales through a distribution network that includes 500-plus owned retail stores, 7,000 wholesale accounts and e-commerce operations in 35 countries. The deal will also include the Surf Dive ‘n Ski lifestyle retailer in Australia, which has over 80 locations and an e-commerce platform.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and expected to close in the third quarter of 2023.

Surf and lifestyle apparel brand Billabong will become part of Authentic Brands Group when its deal to acquire Boardriders closes in Q3 of 2023.