TEXT-Australia's Billabong buys U.S. surf gear retailer

Thu Sep 6, 2007 6:38pm EDT

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(Following is a release from Australian retailer Billabong International Ltd. (BBG.AX))

SYDNEY, Sept 7 - Billabong International Limited today announced the acquisition of the premium United States-based wetsuit and technical watersport accessories brand Xcel.

The brand, established in 1982, is focused on product for the surfing, diving (recreational and military), ocean paddling, sun protection and wakeboarding markets and was recently awarded the "Wetsuit of the Year" title by the Surf Industry Manufacturers' Association.

Xcel founder and owner Ed D'Ascoli will remain with the business and continue to operate Xcel from its Hawaiian base.

The acquisition, effective from 1 September, is expected to be earnings per share accretive in year one. It is anticipated Xcel will contribute in the range of 1% to Group revenue in the 2007-08 financial year.

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