18/07/2006 - 22:00

Melbourne’s Primus buys Kookaburra

18/07/2006 - 22:00

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Melbourne-based camping goods supplier, Primus Australia Pty Ltd, has bought leading Perth camping and outdoor products importer and wholesaler, Kookaburra Gas & Leisure Products for an undisclosed price.

Melbourne’s Primus buys Kookaburra

Melbourne-based camping goods supplier, Primus Australia Pty Ltd, has bought leading Perth camping and outdoor products importer and wholesaler, Kookaburra Gas & Leisure Products for an undisclosed price.

The Kookaburra Group is an association of camping and leisure product wholesalers with outlets in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, operating under the common name Kookaburra Gas & Leisure Products.

The acquisition, finalised by Osborne Park-based business broking agents Schultz Partners Pty Ltd, involved the sale of the entire Kookaburra Group.

Primus Australia Pty Ltd will now integrate and rationalise its two nationwide operations and is set to emerge as the market leader in camping and outdoor supplies.

“Because of the complexity of this interstate deal, which involved the relationship between five interlocking vendor companies, our Perth and Melbourne offices became involved,” Schultz Partners principal Ken Schultz said.

He said the aggregate sale price of the group and the price of the separate Kookaburra operations were confidential.

“It was pleasing to see this acquisition finally concluded after a long series of negotiations,” Mr Schultz said.

The group was initially offered for sale in 2002.

The integrated operation will be centrally managed from Primus Australia’s headquarters in Thomastown, Victoria.

The Wangara-based WA Kookaburra operation was a partnership begun in 1973 by Tony and Josephine Darbyshire and Bob Dare as commission agents for camping products. It was later diversified into wholesaling.

In 1988, they joined the newly formed Kookaburra Group and began operating under the group’s Kookaburra name three years later.

Since then, the company has become the state’s largest camping and leisure goods wholesaler.

As well as holding a dominant share of the WA market, it has supplied customers such as Ranger Camping, Coles Super-markets, Mitre 10 and independent camping outlets.

Mr Dare and Nathan Darbyshire established the NSW operation in 1988. The group owns several popular trademarks Australia-wide, including Kookaburra Gas & Leisure Products, Freetime Outdoors, Travelgear, Rubbermaid and Monterra.

Its product range includes apparel, backpacks, camping gear, fridges and coolers, light and compact furniture, tents and sleeping gear.

Primus, which has 100 employees Australia-wide, was established in 1995, even though the Primus brand has been known in all states and territories as a leading camping and industrial goods player since the early 1900s.

The Primus name is synonymous with specialist camping and industrial equipment and was founded in Sweden late in the 19th century.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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