Buying spree continues as Skydive the Beach leaps into helicopters

Growth strategy: Skydive the Beach continues its acquisition spree with a leap into Queensland helicopters.
Growth strategy: Skydive the Beach continues its acquisition spree with a leap into Queensland helicopters.

Skydive the Beach has talked up its ambitions after buying up a helicopter company, saying it was on the way to becoming the “largest and most respected adventure tourism company in the world”.

CEO Anthony Ritter made the claim to investors after announcing the $19.6 million purchase of Queensland tour and charter company GBR Helicopters Pty Ltd.

The purchase continues an acquisition spree for Skydive the Beach, which since October last year has acquired North Queensland rafting and canyoning outfit Raging Thunder Adventures, the Reef Magic Cruises company in Cairns, and most recently Byron Bay Ballooning.

This was in line with the company’s growth strategy, Mr Ritter told investors.

The GBR purchase gives the North Wollongong-based listed company a stronger foothold in the North Queensland adventure tourism market, with GBR operating across the Daintree and Great Barrier Reef.

The purchase was funded with a $20 million share placement to “institutional and sophisticated” investors, with more than 30 million shares issued in what Skydive called a “completely oversubscribed” offer.

As part of the cash and shares deal Skydive will pay out an $8.6 million debt GBR holds to the Westpac Bank.

GBR employs about 80 people and has a fleet of 22 helicopters. Its operations include a commercial charter operation, and a flight training school.

“This acquisition not only strengthens Skydive’s position in the Far North Queensland adventure tourism and experience market, but also for the national and global markets,” Mr Ritter said.

“Helicopter flights over the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree rainforest are world-class experiences, and we are incredibly fortunate to add such a wonderful and exciting product offering to our portfolio of highly recognisable and respected company brands.

“When you add this acquisition to the existing products we offer customers, we are well on our way in becoming the largest and most respected adventure tourism company in the world.”

We are well on our way in becoming the largest and most respected adventure tourism company in the world.

Anthony Ritter, Skydive the Beach CEO

The GBR deal was set to be finalised on November 1.

Skydive shares were up 4.3 per cent to 74c at the close of trade on Wednesday.