Billabong rides waves with new loan and boss

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The Independent Online

The struggling surfwear chain Billabong has been thrown a lifeline with a new loan and a new chief executive.

The Australian-based firm suffered a A$860m (£507m) loss last year and looked like collapsing. However, it has negotiated a refinancing plan with US-based Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Management to reduce their repayments.

The agreement gives Billabong a $360m (£224m) loan at 11.9 per cent compared with a previous $275m loan at 15 per cent.

In July, Billabong announced a deal with private-equity firm Altamont Capital Partners and GSO Capital Partners that included a bridge loan for $294m.

Along with the new loan, Neil Fiske, the former boss at US outdoor clothing firm Eddie Bauer, has been named as new chief executive in an attempt to perform a much-needed turnaround.

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