Billabong says TPG now sole takeover bidder
Billabong says unnamed second suitor has withdrawn offer
Withdrawal comes days after Rip Curl is approached
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 20 September, 2012 : - - One of two suitors for Billabong International Ltd has dropped out of the takeover race, leaving TPG Capital as sole bidder with its offer of $700 million. The withdrawal comes just days after rival surfwear company Rip Curl said it received unsolicited approaches from several international companies wanting to invest in the privately held firm, in a deal that could fetch up to A$480 million ($502 million).
Billabong revealed on Sept. 6 that a second party had offered around A$1.45 per share, matching TPG's July offer valued around A$694 million. That second suitor has withdrawn its offer after being allowed to assess Billabong's finances, the company said on Thursday. Billabong never named the second bidder, though it was believed to be Bain Capital LLC. Shares in Billabong dropped 8.3 percent to A$1.325 on Thursday.
Billabong has lost nearly half its market value in six months. It snubbed a more generous TPG offer of A$3.30 a share in February. Since the first approach from TPG, which has built up a 12.5 percent stake after winning over two institutional shareholders, Billabong has sold half of its watch brand Nixon and raised A$225 million in equity to reduce debt.
Aggressive expansion met with weak sales of its Billabong products, as well as brands Von Zipper and Element. Sales have declined in Europe, Canada and Australia. TPG has said it could raise or lower its price after it has seen Billabong's books.
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Author: The Editors