Experience Co piles in AUD60 Million to expand footprint in Far North Queensland


By Media and Capital Partners
December 15, 2017

Experience Co Limited (ASX:EXP), Australia and New Zealand’s leading adventure tourism company, is expanding its presence in Far North Queensland after announcing it is to acquire Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises and Tropical Journeys.

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This announcement coincides with Experience Co’s largest capital raise also announced today, seeking circa AUD$60.9 million through an accelerated non-renounceable entitlement offer (ANREO)

Headquartered in Cairns, Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises is one of Queensland’s leading Great Barrier Reef tour operators, offering full day and half day cruises to Green Island and twilight cruises from Cairns Harbour. Tropical Journeys is renowned for its snorkelling and diving tours of the Great Barrier Reef, departing from Port Douglas, and for its personalised tours of the Daintree National Park.

Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises and Tropical Journeys operate a number of brands including: Big Cat Green Island, Cairns Harbour and Sunset Tours, Tropical Journeys, Calypso Snorkel and Dive, Aquarius Sailing and Daintree Tours.

Experience Co CEO Anthony Ritter said these acquisitions are a strategic move by the company to continue its quest to become the world’s largest and most respected adventure tourism company.

“While Experience Co’s existing tourism offerings in Far North Queensland are growing from strength to strength, our newest string of acquisitions will help us position so many more world class experiences to both domestic and international customers who want see what the region and beyond has to offer.

“From snorkelling or cruising along the Great Barrier Reef to tours of the lush Daintree rainforest, these are not to be missed experiences in Australia and we’re excited to be able to showcase them as part of our growing tourism portfolio.”

“Financially, these deals are to improve Experience Co’s EBITDA in its first full year of ownership, being FY19, by AUD$11.1 million.”

Experience Co Managing Director Anthony Boucaut added that these acquisitions also represent a significant business milestone for the business.

“Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises and Tropical Journeys are not only leading tour operators in Far North Queensland that will see us expand our footprint in the region, but they also represent our very first acquisition under our new company name, Experience Co.”

This is the fourth acquisition for Experience Co, previously known as Skydive the Beach Group Limited, this year. It follows the takeovers of other Far North Queensland businesses in 2017, GBR Helicopters last month and Reef Magic Cruises in May. The company also acquired Byron Bay Ballooning in August of this year and Raging Thunder Adventures in October of last year.

The Big Cat Green Island Reef Cruises and Tropical Journeys deals are set to be finalised on 13 December and 18 December 2017, respectively.

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