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FAKE NEWS!!--PADI to be sold once again

Discussion in 'Scuba Industry News' started by Efka76, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Rhone Man

    Rhone Man Divemaster

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    I'd pump the brakes a little on the "PADI is worth $1.2 billion" talk. Firstly, just because that is the sticker price doesn't mean someone will pay that. Second, I am struggling to find any credible reports outside of Medium.com (who dey?) about this. A $1.2 billion M&A transaction isn't exactly cover of the WSJ stuff, but it is big enough that it ought to be reported in credible financial media, if it is true.
     
  2. mdb

    mdb ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

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    PADI has been a cash flow machine for many years. In house printing of materials, huge mark-up.

    Multiple courses became their standard.

    After John Cronin died. The real leadership also passed.

    New owners took the profit and ran.

    Now we have the latest trying to do the same.

    I very much doubt that PADI will sell for 1.2 billion.
     
    Darcy Kieran likes this.
  3. Edward3c

    Edward3c Instructor, Scuba

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    Read this thread with interest.

    PADI moved out of Europe to concentrate on SE Asia as that’s where they saw the growth. Europe was considered saturated. They might class N America as the same as Europe, saturated.
     
  4. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member

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    There are a number of interesting assertions in this thread, which may not necessarily reflect actual fact, at least based on available data.

    1. Aside from Darcy's rather fanciful column, there is simply no evidence whatsoever that PADI is for sale. It might be, at a future time, I cannot predict the future. But, right now, there is simply nothing to support the assertion.

    2. While I have regard for SSI as an agency, and know and respect several SSI-affiliated shop owners and instructors, I believe that a suggestion that SSI will somehow grow by sufficient leaps and bounds to surpass PADI - anywhere - in anything approaching the near future, is simply ludicrous. The relative sizes of the organizations are so fundamentally disparate that such a shift in a relatively short period of time is not realistic. Again, I have respect for the SSI organization, so this is not a criticism. It is a fundamental reality.

    3. I am aware from this discussion, and others with PADI representatives, that some shops in Colorado - and, one in particular - have become frustrated by what they perceive to be competition from PADI Travel. It does seem, to me at least, to be a bit silly. It reminds me of the initial reaction of some PADI shops to eLearning. Some shops were furious that PADI was stealing business by offering eLearning! Then, they found out that PADI was going to provide a revenue share to shops for each student that signed up for eLearning and linked their registration to the particular shop, and the shop didn't even have to do anything, such as delivering cumbersome academic sessions! And, surprise, surprise - the tone changed. Shops realized that eLearning could be a real financial benefit! So, when a shop feels that somehow PADI Travel reflects an attempt to 'cut the throats of their dive shops', chances are they haven't really thought about it in a logical manner. But, that is for those shops to decide, not me. For smaller shops without resources to provide a travel program, it is a real asset. Even for larger shops, where some customers are not enthusiastic about the group trips that shops typically offer, and want something just for themselves, such a travel option should ultimately benefit both the shop that doesn't want to bother to set it up, and that shop's customer that do want it to be set up. If a shop is already offering a quality travel program, it is quite unlikely that PADI, or any other entity/agency, is going to upset that apple cart.

    4. As far as I can tell, there is also no evidence that PADI has 'moved out of Europe'. Based on available data, PADI staff resources and management talent in the European region (PADI EMEA) have actually increased in recent years, to address opportunities and needs. Yes, there is increased emphasis on PADI Asia, simply because that is an important, and emerging, and GROWING market. There is business to be conducted there! Of course PADI - as should any other intelligent agency with a good business plan - is adding emphasis to that market! Growth potential in SE Asia is significant.

    Now, I don't make these comments as a PADI apologist. Yes, I am a PADI Instructor, and I value the support that I get from that organization. I, for one, have seen no fundamental change in PADI responsiveness in recent years, only a restructuring of how that support is delivered. I have seen headcount added at Rancho Santa Margarita, not cut. If anything the responsiveness - for me, at least - is even better and more personal. But, I will also openly say that I have my own frustrations with the agency. For example, the IT infrastructure continues to disappoint me. It may be better than any other agency I have seen, but as far as I am concerned, the PADI IT structure is a complete embarrassment to such a large global entity, even with all the value it delivers. So, I am not drinking any Kool-Aid as far as I can taste.

    And, I don't particularly like price increases, from any sector. But, I find it interesting - many on SB bemoan the pathetic pay scale for dive professionals, and insist that Instructors should charge far more for their services, to reflect the true value of what they do. Yet, they also criticize PADI for charging for what they do (which is far more than publishing) AND for being successful in business. Is that criticism simply jealousy? Do we envy an organization that continues to be successful, in an otherwise struggling industry?

    Having said all of this, I also believe that shops, instructors, and individual divers can, and MUST, all make their own decisions about value. Hopefully, those decisions will be informed - by accurate information, rather than fanciful writing - and logical and objective - not emotional and reactive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  5. Rhone Man

    Rhone Man Divemaster

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    I am just hoping that they bring back the PADI Underwater Hunter specialty course.
     
  6. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor Staff Member

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    In addition to the fact that there is no independent verification to be found for this column's assertions, read it carefully while trying to maintain a sense of objectivity. While keeping in mind that this is more of an editorial column than a news story, see if you can pick up any hints of personal bias in the wording.
     
  7. TC

    TC Miscreant Moderator Staff Member

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  8. TC

    TC Miscreant Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe we can get a comment from the author of that piece? @Darcy Kieran ?
     
    Darcy Kieran likes this.
  9. Colliam7

    Colliam7 Tech Instructor Staff Member

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    That might be 'interesting'. I wonder if he will get the job with SSI that he is apparently angling for, after all. The PADI response does seem to call him out.
     
    Diving Dubai likes this.
  10. Darcy Kieran

    Darcy Kieran Business of Diving Institute

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    Interesting new rumor.

    - - -

    So Drew is denying it. That's pretty clearly the only thing he could say, right? He's doing the job he is paid for.

    But news are full of 'official spokesperson' denying everything - until it happens.

    So... Time will tell.

    The rest of the article about the need for changes and innovation in this industry will remain true, whether the Aqua Lung / PADI marriage happens now, later or never. It's also very likely that more consolidation will happen, one way or another.

    Have a good & safe weekend!
     
    mdb likes this.

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