Tree Tops park under new ownership

Belgrave's Tree Tops adventure park is now under new ownership. Picture: SUPPLIED.

Leading Australasian adventure tourism company Experience Co (EXP) has announced it will acquire Trees Adventure, Australia’s foremost operator of treetop and zipline aerial adventures.

This acquisition complements Experience Co’s existing portfolio and provides access to a previously untapped domestic leisure market placing EXP in a strong business position as residents in NSW and Victoria emerge from lockdown.

Trees Adventure currently operates 14 locations in five states, including the Tree Tops adventure park in Belgrave, 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.

“This acquisition forms part of our ongoing strategic growth plan and 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. This gives us near-term tailwinds as well as positioning our portfolio strongly for long-term growth,” Experience Co CEO John O’ Sullivan said.

It also adds diversity to the company’s existing customer base as the treetop rope courses, netparks, ziplining and canopy tours are frequently enjoyed by families and school groups.

“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,” Mr O’ Sullivan said.

This is a major acquisition for Experience Co which has been on a growth curve since the company purchased Wild Bush Luxury and The Maria Island Walk earlier this year. To fund the acquisition price of up to $46.9m, EXP has announced the launch of an Entitlement Offer for existing Institutional and Retail shareholders on the Australian Stock Exchange.

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 which offers tours in Far North Queensland; the Skydiving division which has 17 drop zones throughout Australia and its Premium Adventure division incorporating the Wild Bush Luxury brand which offers a range of walking, accommodation and wilderness camp experiences across the Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania.

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

“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” said Dansin.

“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.”