Billabong International has announced the acquisition of the United States-based wetsuit and technical watersport-accessories brand Xcel.

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

Billabong Chief Executive Officer Derek O'Neill said the acquisition strengthened the Group's position in the wetsuit category: "Xcel is a category leader, particularly in its primary markets of Hawaii and mainland USA," said Mr O'Neill. "It has an authentic surf heritage and it is a brand that we feel can readily benefit from the support of the Billabong Group."

Xcel founder and owner Ed D'Ascoli will remain with the business and continue to operate Xcel from its Hawaiian base. "Xcel will remain focused on its core products and will then leverage the support of the Billabong Group in areas of distribution and product development," he said.

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

In addition to its North Shore office, Xcel operates two retail stores on Oahu and a warehouse/repair facility in California. To learn more about Xcel, please visit www.xcelwetsuits.com.

www.billabong.com