DTL: Valuation of Kelly Slater’s Wave Pool
PRESS RELEASE: WSL Holdings To Acquire Kelly Slater Wave Company
“WSL Holdings, the parent company of the World Surf League (WSL), today announced an agreement in principle to acquire a majority stake in the Kelly Slater Wave Company (KSWC).The partnership between the WSL and KSWC will be dedicated to promoting the growth of high-performance surfing around the world. KSWC’s revolutionary technology creates a number of possibilities for the future of the sport. The WSL and the KSWC envision the build-out of a global network of WSL-branded high-performance training centers utilizing this wave technology.”
How much did the World Surf League (WSL) pay for the (Kelly Slater Wave Co) KSWC ? What is the valuation? How much is it worth?
I asked these questions yesterday morning on the Down The Line surf podcast. I’ve been pondering ever since.
There is no objective valuation. The WSL purchased patented technology and a lot of potential. There are no revenue streams. Hard assets, land, science, and sweat equity, that’s what the WSL bought. Pure speculation on my part, but I’m guessing that WSL Holdings loaned the KSWC seed money to get this wave pool to a ‘proof of concept’ stage.
And here we are: crystal green persuasion in Lemoore, Ca. Proof is in the cow pies.
Parking lot fodder suggests that this deal was done years ago. ZoSea owns the WSL and is funded by billionaire Dirk Ziff, run by CEO Paul Speaker and influenced in part by Terry Hardy (Kelly’s manager). The business relationships between Ziff, Hardy, Speaker, and Slater are rather close knit – incestuous even. I’ll even speculate that Slater might be part owner of the WSL, with his ownership stake to be exercised through an options contract upon his retirement. Again, pure blog-o-sphere speculation on my part — just me, looking out the window, trying to piece it all together. Fascinating stuff.
The WSL will now take a majority stake in the KSWC for somewhere between $5M-$10M USD (my numbers) and the WSL now has the leverage to do with the technology whatever it is they so desire. Vegas. WCT. Olympics.
If nothing else the recent announcement from the WSL is pure marketing gold. Speaker is basically saying, ‘If you’re interested in the KSWC, then you’re interested in contacting the WSL, and we’re interested in listening.”
Now the real deals begin.