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Experience Co to acquire Trees Adventure and TreeTops parks in $46.9 million deal

Experience Co to acquire Trees Adventure and TreeTops parks in $46.9 million deal
September 30, 2021

Adventure tourism company Experience Co has announced it will acquire the Treetops and Trees Adventure ropes course and zip line operators in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania for $46.9 million.

Complementing the ASX-listed company’s existing portfolio and provides access to what it says is “a previously untapped domestic leisure market”, Experience Co advise that the acquisition will put it in “a strong business position as residents in NSW and Victoria prepare to emerge from lockdown”.

Trees Adventure currently operates 14 locations across the country under the Trees Adventure, Tree Tops, Next Level and Hollybank Wilderness Adventures brands, with two additional adventure parks scheduled to open in the next 12 months.

Advising that the acquisition forms part of the company’s ongoing strategic growth plan, Experience Co Chief Executive, John O’ Sullivan advised “(this) builds on our strong business base, providing us with new access to an intrastate leisure and recreation market less impacted by state and international border closures.

“(It also) gives us near-term tailwinds as well as positioning our portfolio strongly for long-term growth.”

Adding that the acquisition also adds diversity to Experience Co’s existing customer base, with the treetop rope courses, ‘netparks’, zip lines and canopy tours frequently enjoyed by families and school groups, O’ Sullivan went on to say “Trees Adventures’ younger audience are the skydivers of tomorrow.

“We want to capture their interest in adventure experiences from an early age and introduce them to the other opportunities that Experience Co can offer.”

The transaction, which will be completed at the end of October, will see Nicolas Dansin and Marc Flaster, co-founders of Victorian-based Trees Adventure and their current management team remain with the company under Experience Co’s ownership.

Founded by Frederic Galimard and Sandrine Gaymard, TreeTops Adventure Park commenced operations in NSW’s Ourimbah State Forest in 2010, going on to open similar zipline and climbing attractions in the Cumberland State Forest, Western Sydney Parklands and Orara East State Forest in Coffs Harbour.

The two businesses began working together in 2019.

Commenting on the move, Dansin advised “this is an exciting next step for the Trees Adventure team which will provide us with the opportunity to explore new ideas and concepts and take our experiences to the next level.

“We have grown the company to more than 350 employees in 14 locations across Australia which receive over 400,000 visits per year. This more than confirms our experiences resonate with local adrenaline seekers.

“We will continue to focus on growing that opportunity and taking an industry leadership role in terms of innovation, safety and design.”

To fund the acquisition price of up to $46.9 million, Experience Co has launched an entitlement offer for existing institutional and retail shareholders on the ASX.

Trees Adventure will form the cornerstone of a new family adventure division at Experience Co, which will sit alongside the company’s Great Barrier Reef division, its skydiving division and its premium adventure division.

It’s the third major acquisition by Experience Co this year, with the company announcing the purchase of Wild Bush Luxury and The Maria Island Walk in Tasmania back in April.

Sites acquired by Experience Co:

• TreeTops Adventure Park, Ourimbah State Forest, Wyong Creek
• TreeTops NetWorld, Ourimbah State Forest
• TreeTops Adventure Park, Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, Newcastle
• TreeTops Adventure Park, Cumberland State Forest, West Pennant Hills
• TreeTops Adventure Park, Western Sydney Parklands, Western Sydney
• TreeTops Adventure Park, Orara East State Forest, Coffs Harbour
• Trees Adventure Grose River Park, Blue Mountains
• Trees Adventure Nowra Shoalhaven Park, Shoalhaven

• Trees Adventures Glen Harrow Park, Melbourne
• Trees Adventure Yeodene Park, Otway Forest, Barwon South West

Western Australia
• Trees Adventure Lane Poole Park, Nanga Mill Campground, west of Perth
• Trees Adventure Yanchep National Park, Perth

• Trees Adventure Hollybanks Wilderness Adventures, Launceston

• Next Level, Sunshine Plaza, Maroochydore

Images: Rollercoast zip line at TreeTops Adventure Park in NSW's Ourimbah State Forest (top), TreeTops NetWorld in the Ourimbah State Forest (middle) and Next Level, Sunshine Plaza (below). Credit: Experience Co.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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3rd June 2021 - Tourism Tropical North Queensland welcomes John O’Sullivan to its Board

14th May 2021 - New TreeTop Challenge Junior Adventure Park unveiled on Sunshine Coast

20th February 2021 - Asset sales reduce Experience Co’s half-yearly losses as tourism operator

30th November 2020 - Largest high ropes course in Australia opens on the Sunshine Coast

23rd November 2020 - Solar Power facility to be constructed for Tasmania’s Maria Island National Park

10th February 2020 - Experience Co cuts Cairns tourism jobs in restructuring

8th April 2019 - TreeTops opens aerial fusion of play and adventure in Ourimbah State Forest

18th January 2019 - Three days of festivities offered at Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

7th November 2018 - World’s fastest rollercoaster zip line takes off in Sydney

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9th August 2017 - Australia’s great outdoors needs to be more accessible for nature-based tourism

19th December 2015 - TreeTop Central Coast Adventure Park a dual winner at the 2015 NSW Tourism Awards

5th June 2015 - Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures welcomes 5,000th Zip liner

15th May 2014 - Ecoline reveal TreeTop conference venue

5th July 2013 - World’s largest Flying Fox to be built on NSW Central Coast

19th November 2010 - Forget Leisure: Focus on the Experience Industry

8th December 2009 - O’Sullivan to head Queensland Major Events Corporation

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