Billabong surfs to A$300m takeover

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The Independent Online

The Australian surfwear brand Billabong has entered exclusive talks with a consortium led by its former US boss and a private-equity firm for them to buy it at a knock-down price of A$300m (£210m).

Paul Naude and Sycamore Partners initially proposed a A$1.10 a share offer for Billabong in December but have now scaled this back to just A$0.60, following a sharp fall in its share price. Worse still, Billabong rejected an A$850m takeover approach from rival private equity firm TPG in February 2013. At that time Billabong's founder Gordon Merchant, who started the firm making shorts on his kitchen table, said he would not back an offer as high as A$4, which would have valued the retailer at A$1.02bn.

Since February 2012 Billabong has closed stores, made staff redundant, written down the value of its brands and breached its banking covenants.