A Northland business to plunge into

5:00 AM Saturday September 5, 2015 Colin Taylor

A diver jumps off a Dive North boat off the coast of Northland.

A Northland tourism diving operation with a retail outlet and accommodation facility occupying a freehold site in Kerikeri is for sale with all its assets.

“Dive North was set up by its owners in 2009 out of their passion for diving and to provide the Bay of Islands with a top class tourism diving operation,” says Dave Beaumont of Link Northland Business Brokers Ltd, who is marketing the company at 1512 Spring Bank Rd for sale as a going concern business with or without land and buildings.

“Dive North is the only diving operation in Northland that has dual certification by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors[PADI] and Scuba Schools International[SSI],” Beaumont says. “They have put a huge amount of effort and money into this operation and it is only a change in personal circumstances that has prompted them to sell.”

Dive North originally started out with one boat named Lady Rose and rapidly saw year on year growth driving the need for more facilities. A much larger purpose built boat, Inn Keeper, was put in service in 2013 along with a dedicated dive centre.

“The dive centre is the operational heart of the business and provides a one stop shop including retail products, a class room, tank filling station with nitrox, a service area, changing rooms and gear storage,” Beaumont says, adding that the business has around 400 people on the data base for annual tank checks.

“The retail premises is highly visible in a prime location on State Highway 10 just outside Kerikeri and is beautifully set up with a lot of thought having been put into the building including self-draining floors in the wet areas.

The shop is incorporated within a 220 sq m house set well back on the same 7984 sq m block of freehold land with the retail outlet occupying the road frontage. The house includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms office and studio. “It is well suited to entertaining with large decks and good indoor outdoor flow,” Beaumont says.

Dive North, 1512 Spring Bank Rd, SH10, Kerikeri.jpg

The prominent road frontage Kerikeri premises of the Dive North business. 

The asking price for the business with land and buildings and all business assets is $1.3 million or $520,000 for the business alone including stock estimated at $80,000; tangible assets like the two boats, vehicle, office furniture and computers valued at $290,000; and intangible assets of $150,000 encompassing intellectual property, systems and processes, organisational structure, key employees and their contracts, training policies, customer and supplier relationships, branding, marketing technology, and advertising material.

There is the possible option of a suitable partner buying into the overall business or just buying into the dive business.

Beaumont says booking inquiries come from a variety of sources including the internet, visitor information booths and local hotels.

“Dive North has an excellent website that ranks highly on Google for a variety of search terms,” he says. “Achieving awards for three years running has boosted its reputation and has resulted in direct referrals and preference over other operators. Returning clients are common and forward bookings are being received daily with around 80 per cent of clients being foreign tourists. It’s the owners’ attention to detail along with the quality equipment used and customer service has led to these achievements.”

A significant attraction of the diving business for its customers is the benefit of being able to stay on site while training.

Beaumont says a bed and breakfast option is very popular with portable hire cabins installed during the peak season. “Motor home parking is provided and this area could also be grown for additional income. The owners were planning to build a toilet block in order to provide for increased occupancy. The accommodation income can be further expanded to outside guests as currently it is only offered to divers. The retail shop is a relatively new side of the business that awaits stronger marketing to drive more revenue.”

Beaumont says the business tends to be quite seasonal so a new owner could easily take time out in winter for leisure or maintenance.

“This is a superb operation that provides an excellent opportunity for a life style business with potential for expansion,” he says. “The owner is happy to stay on up to six months to ensure a smooth transition and training if required.”

 “Tourism is strong in the North and the lowering New Zealand dollar points to further growth for this business.”