Thor Industries Inc. today announced in a joint news release the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Tourism Holdings, Ltd. (thl), the world’s largest RV rental and sales operator. The joint venture, called TH2, is committed to bringing the full benefit of digital connectivity and the sharing economy to RV owners around the world.
TH2 further announced that it has entered various agreements to acquire the following assets:
- Roadtrippers, a leader in road trip planning;
- Roadtrippers Australasia, a provider of tourism and navigation services in Australia and New Zealand;
- Cosmos, a digital platform for RV customer relationship and fleet management, product pricing, and booking and rental management;
- Mighway, a leader in peer-to-peer RV rentals with operations in both New Zealand and the United States; and
- CamperMate, Australia and New Zealand’s top camping App.
Thor’s initial investment in TH2 is expected to be approximately $50 million. The transaction is subject to usual and customary closing conditions, and TH2 anticipates completion by the end of February 2018.
TH2 will be focused on significantly enhancing the enjoyment and safety of RV enthusiasts by digitally connecting this fast-growing international marketplace. This innovative and comprehensive platform will improve every aspect of RV ownership, with capabilities that include trip planning and booking, remote systems monitoring, roadside assistance, and peer-to-peer RV and campsite rental. The system will also streamline an owner’s record keeping and enable dealers and manufacturers to provide such support as triggered service notifications, online vehicle manuals and more.
Manufacturers, RV dealers, and rental operators who utilize TH2’s services and products will see increased efficiencies in product pricing, service engagement, and fleet management.
“As the world leader in the recreational vehicle industry, we are constantly evaluating ways to improve the overall RV experience for our customers,” said Bob Martin, Thor President and CEO. “Through this joint venture, we believe we can offer a variety of products and services that provide invaluable benefits, via digital connectivity, to an evolving consumer base. As the breadth of our consumer base continues to widen, with more and more younger consumers entering the market, we must provide them with innovative solutions to not only capture their interest, but also to retain them as life-long customers.
“We believe TH2’s digital platform will be a game changer for a new generation of RV’ers. This venture brings together our manufacturing experience with thl’s global RV expertise to deliver an industry-best collection of digital services tailored especially for RV’ers,” concluded Martin.
TH2 will be headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Bob Wheeler, president and CEO of Airstream, a subsidiary of Thor, will also serve as president of TH2. Airstream is a well-established organization and has a deep, talented and experienced management team, which will enable Wheeler to provide strong leadership to both entities.
Thor will reflect this joint venture using the equity method of accounting, beginning in the third quarter of fiscal year 2018. The results of this transaction are expected to have a minimal impact upon Thor’s fiscal year 2018 earnings.
“Thor’s leadership in the RV marketplace has been built upon our ability to grow market share through investments in innovation and product development,” said Peter B. Orthwein, Thor executive chairman. “In addition to our strong operating cash flow, benefits provided by the U.S. tax reform legislation will allow us to continue to invest in exciting new areas and provide further employment opportunities to U.S. workers.”
“Our strategic plan continues to focus on making the appropriate investments in our manufacturing footprint, paying down our debt, assessing acquisition opportunities and increasing returns to our investors. The joint venture announced today is an example of our ongoing efforts to enhance long-term shareholder value,” Orthwein concluded.