Industry News 9/12/2007

Billabong International Limited Acquires XCEL

Billabong International Limited Acquires XCEL

Irvine CA. - Billabong International Limited announced Friday the acquisition of the USA-based wetsuit and technical water-sports accessories brand Xcel. The brand, established in 1982, is focused on product for the surfing, diving, ocean paddling, sun protection and wakeboarding markets. Recently awarded the prestigious 'Wetsuit of the Year' title by the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association, Xcel is known for product quality, innovation and a close relationship with core participants in the water-sports industry.

Billabong International Chief Executive officer Derik O'Neill said the acquisition strengthened the Billabong group's position in the wetsuit category.

"Xcel is a category leader, particularly in its primary markets of Hawaii and mainland USA," said O'Neill. "It has an authentic heritage and it is a brand we feel can easily benefit from the support of the Billabong Group."

In keeping with Billabong's successful management approach, little will change in the day-to-day operation. Xcel founder Ed D'Ascoli will remain with the business and continue to operate Xcel from its Hawaiian headquarters.

"Xcel will remain focused on its core products and will then leverage the global support of the Billabong Group in areas of distribution and product development," noted D'Ascoli.

Future potential for Xcel appears to be strong with the expertise and category leadership coupled with Billabong's sourcing, distribution and financial strengths.
 
 "Apart from Xcel continuing to grow its strong wetsuit category, there will be other opportunities for the brand to expand its core product offering," said Billabong USA President Paul Naude. "We are proud to welcome to the group a brand that has an excellent reputation for functional design, quality and authenticity."