Surfstitch offloads digital mag Stab to former owners

Embattled online Australian retailer Surfstitch has sold back Stab magazine to the digital publication's previous owners for a "nominal" cash sum, under the guidance of administrators who are trying to resurface the submerged surf e-tailer.


Stab magazine cover - Stab

Sam McIntosh and Tom Bird, who founded the magazine for high-performance surfing, closed the deal with administrators John Park, Quentin Olde and Joseph Hansell of FTI Consulting, according to local media.

“SurfStitch Group and Rollingyouth Media (Stab) will maintain a close commercial relationship with both parties entering into a three-year agreement for the supply of marketing and content development and advertising services to the SurfStitch Group,” FTI Consulting said.

Details of the deal were not disclosed but the co-founders will pay a “nominal” cash consideration for the Stab business. In May 2015, the SurfStitch bought Stab Magazine and a surf weather site, Magicseaweed, for a combined AU$13.8 million cash and 4.8 million shares.

It's been a tumultuous two years for Surfstitch. The Gold Coast head quartered group went into into administration earlier in the year, citing significant challenges including two class actions, protracted litigation and an investigation by the corporate regulator ASIC. 

In April, SurfStitch sold action and extreme sport video business Garage Entertainment to the Madman Media Group for a loss, which in 2015 it paid AU$15 million for.

In December last year, SurfStitch sold its surfboard subsidiary Surf Hardware International at a loss to investment company Gowing Bros Ltd for $17 million, which it bought a year earlier for $23.7 million.

In March 2016, Surfstitch’s management was restructured after the surprise departure of CEO and co-founder Justin Cameron. The company then said it understood Cameron was pursuing a potential acquisition of the business in conjunction with private equity. 
 

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