Struggling Billabong receives $150mn lifeline offer from Quiksilver

By Addie Thomes

Two of Australia’s iconic fashion brands could be about to merge after Quiksilver tabled a bid of around AU$198mn for loss-making Billabong.

One of the country’s most well-known sports apparel sellers, Billabong has struggled to turn a profit in recent times, registering losses in four out of the past five years. This year it lost around $76mn, three times the loss it made in 2016.

Quiksilver, now known as Boardriders but still selling clothes under the original name, offered $1 per share, a 28.2% premium when judged against Thursdays close price.

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One party with an interest in both companies is US private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management, which owns 19% of Billabong, while funds it manages also has a majority interest in Boardriders.

The offer to Billabong is subject to unanimous approval of the board, which as appointed Goldman Sachs as its financial advisor and Allens as its legal counsel.

Oaktree helped it to become a private company after it declared bankruptcy in 2015. Back in 2012, Billabong rejected a takeover bid of more than four times the $198mn offered by Boardriders, made by TPG Capital Management.

As well as Quiksilver, Boardriders is home to RVCA, Element, Von Zipper and Honolua Surf Company brands.

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