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Monday, July 12, 2010
Billabong set to purchase RVCA


Alex Knost and RVCA friends won't be changing the stickers on their boards, but their paychecks may soon be coming from a different address.

Announced on June 11, 2010, Billabong has reached a conditional agreement to purchase RVCA. Based in Costa Mesa, Calif., RVCA has been very successful in cultivating a devoted following of surfers, skaters, musicians, artists and even an MMA fighter in Hawaii's BJ Penn in recent years, essentially becoming the "Youth Against Establishment" brand after Volcom joined the rank and file on the New York Stock Exchange.

"RVCA has done an incredible job to date in terms of building its brand, differentiating its product and supporting various subcultures through its Artist Network Program, its athletes and its advocates," said Billabong North America President Paul Naude in a statement to the press.

"There comes a time in the development of a young brand when the administrative side of doing business can start to consume resources that are better applied to the creative development of the brand," continued Naude. "I think this is one of the strengths of the Billabong group. We have capabilities in areas including sourcing and the management of the supply chain, distribution and general financing and these types of support structures allow our brands to focus on product and marketing."

"The original concept of RVCA was, and still is, to be a lifestyle brand that integrated different subcultures within one platform & a platform for likeminded people to produce great art and other creative endeavours, while getting recognition for their contribution and involvement," explained RVCA founder Pat Tenore. "RVCA will be able to take this concept even further and provide a more extensive support base for the artists, athletes and advocates we work with."

Proving that office space is getting tight over there on Waterworks Drive in Irvine, where Billabong NA is headquartered, RVCA will be yet another wise addition to the Bong portfolio. In recent years they've also acquired Da Kine, Sector Nine, Element, Xcel Wetsuits, Nixon Watches, Von Zipper Sunglasses, and numerous retail outlets (i.e. surf shops). The complementary nature of their portfolio has served Billabong well during the Great Recession, and while Quiksilver strayed into the "outdoor" market and got bogged down in both the ski and golf business -- paying a hefty price because of it -- Billabong's sole focus on the action sports industry has afforded them the opportunity to continue to grow and strengthen their footing in surf even further. More to come as the RVCA deal developes.

Stay tuned as the Billabong Pro South Africa starts later this week and our man Peter "Joli" Wilson is on the ground in J-Bay.