16th May 2007 – Logo International B.V. announced today that it has acquired the O’Neill worldwide trademark portfolio and has placed the trademarks with O’Neill Europe, a former O’Neill licensee headquartered in Warmond, the Netherlands. Founded by surf pioneer Jack O’Neill in 1952, O’Neill has become one of the world’s most respected brands in the action sports sector.  O’Neill designs, manufactures and distributes surf and snow-related technical products, clothing, footwear and accessories across 84 countries, making it one of the world’s most sought-after brands in the youth fashion and lifestyle segment.

The transaction consists of two consecutive acquisitions by Logo International. The first concerns the purchase of the worldwide rights to the O’Neill brand and acquisition of the subsidiary O’Neill Australia Pty Ltd from O’Neill, Inc., the business founded by Jack O’Neill in 1952.

The second acquisition concerns the European licensee O’Neill Europe, which has been a successful venture for over 28 years. O’Neill Europe currently employs over 430 people. O’Neill Europe has subsidiaries in Holland, Belgium, Germany and France and will soon open a new office in the Biarritz Area.

New investors to safeguard long-term development

By bringing the O’Neill brand rights and O’Neill Europe together under one company, Logo International will ensure the long-term development and growth of the O’Neill brand. The resulting brand alignment across the globe will produce synergies in design, marketing, production and distribution. Logo International intends to realize further efficiencies and brand enhancement by the expansion of retail operations internationally.    

Speaking on behalf of Logo International, Ronald de Waal said: “O’Neill is an outstanding brand boasting a rich heritage. Merging the O’Neill brand with O’Neill Europe to form one company is a crucial step for the future of the brand. Going forward, we can now work together closely to elaborate the strong brand assets, new collections and possible line extensions. By adopting a long-term focus and fully realizing the brand’s market potential, we can also succeed in allowing O’Neill to develop and achieve its goal of becoming the number one player in its respective market segment.”

Logo International has asked founder and former owner of O’Neill Europe, Theo Dietz, and a former O’Neill Europe CEO, Nick Verwer, to stay on as advisors.

O’Neill Europe is pleased with the new developments. As Eppo van Berckelaer, Marketing & PR Director O’Neill Europe states: “The benefits in economies of scale and the willingness of Logo International to invest provides everyone involved with an excellent opportunity to bring the O’Neill brand closer to our consumers. The continued involvement of the O’Neill family will safeguard the authenticity of the brand.”

Continuous involvement of O’Neill family

Jack O’Neill pioneered the design of neoprene wetsuits for surfers and developed it into a company with over a half century of hard-core surf heritage. Jack and his family will continue to be part of the brand’s future. Under a separate agreement, the O’Neill family will continue to own and operate the O’Neill wetsuit business worldwide, the US outerwear business and the O’Neill Surf Shops located in Santa Cruz, California. As it has done for the past 55 years, O’Neill will continue to develop and produce a full range of the highest quality wetsuits for surf and other aquatic sports.

“For the last half-century our family has taken great pride in designing and manufacturing the world’s best wetsuits and related products,” said company founder Jack O’Neill. “Nothing will change on that front. The sale of the worldwide trademarks will allow our team to focus  exclusively on our core business and we will continue to support the independent dealer base that has supported us since the beginning.”

The sale will also permit Jack O’Neill to spend more time on the O’Neill Sea Odyssey program.  “This charitable organization, which is now entering its second decade , has taken over 40,000 school children to sea at no charge for a unique educational experience emphasizing the importance of caring for the ocean as a living organism. The ocean has been very good to our family and the O'Neill Sea Odyssey provides a way to give something back”, said Jack O’Neill about the organization he founded in 1996.