Tourism

Experience Co to fork out nearly $50m for zipline operator

Australasian adventure tourism company Experience Co has announced it will acquire Trees Adventure, Australia’s foremost operator of treetop and zipline aerial adventures.

This acquisition complements Experience Co’s existing portfolio and provides access to a previously untapped domestic leisure market, placing the ASX-listed company in a strong business position as residents in NSW and Victoria prepare to emerge from lockdown.

Trees Adventure currently operates 14 locations across Victoria, NSW, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania under the Trees Adventure, Tree Tops, Next Level and Hollybank Wilderness Adventures brands, with two additional adventure parks scheduled to open in the next 12 months.

Image source: Experience Co

Experience Co CEO John O’ Sullivan said the acquisition forms part of the company’s ongoing strategic growth plan.

“[It] builds on our strong business base, providing us with new access to an intrastate leisure and recreation market less impacted by state and international border closures,” he said.

“This gives us near-term tailwinds as well as positioning our portfolio strongly for long-term growth.”

O’Sullivan said the acquisiton also adds diversity to Experience Co’s existing customer base, with the treetop rope courses, netparks, ziplining and canopy tours frequently enjoyed by families and school groups.

“Trees Adventures’ younger audience are the skydivers of tomorrow,” he said.

“We want to capture their interest in adventure experiences from an early age and introduce them to the other opportunities that Experience Co can offer.”

Image source: Experience Co

It’s the third major acquisition by Experience Co this year, with the company announcing the purchase of Wild Bush Luxury and The Maria Island Walk in Tasmania back in April.

To fund the acquisition price of up to $46.9 million, Experience Co has launched an entitlement offer for existing institutional and retail shareholders on the ASX.

Trees Adventure will form the cornerstone of a new family adventure division at Experience Co, which will sit alongside the company’s Great Barrier Reef division, its skydiving division and its premium adventure division.

The transaction, which will be completed at the end of October, will see the Trees Adventure co-founders Nicolas Dansin and Marc Flaster and their current management team remain with the company under Experience Co’s ownership.

Image source: Experience Co

“This is an exciting next step for the Trees Adventure team which will provide us with the opportunity to explore new ideas and concepts and take our experiences to the next level” said Dansin.

“We have grown the company to more than 350 employees in 14 locations across Australia which receive over 400,000 visits per year. This more than confirms our experiences resonate with local adrenaline seekers.

“We will continue to focus on growing that opportunity and taking an industry leadership role in terms of innovation, safety and design.”


Featured image source: Experience Co


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