Billabong Shares Surge After Second Takeover Bid
Shares in Australia's Billabong International surged more than 12 percent on Tuesday after the struggling surfwear company received a second takeover proposal.
Billabong said late on Monday it had received an offer from a consortium led by San Francisco-based private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners and clothing group VF Corp.
The A$1.10 ($1.16) per share offer matches a A$556 million ($586.55 million) bid led by Billabong's U.S. boss, Paul Naude, and New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
Billabong, which issued its third profit warning in a year in December, said it would evaluate both proposals.
The company's shares were at A$0.945 at 0001 GMT, up 12.4 percent. The stock has plummeted from last year's high of A$2.51, recorded in February.
Both groups have offered A$1.10 per share for the struggling Australian company, which issued its third profit warning in a year in December.
Billabong said it would evaluate the proposals to determine whether it can secure a deal "at a price and on terms the board would recommend."
"This process is expected to take about six weeks," the firm added in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.
Naude and Sycamore Partners unveiled their approach on Dec. 18, the same day Billabong announced its latest profit warning, when it said annual earnings could be 15 percent lower than previously forecast.
The company had a tumultuous 2012, alienating investors after rejecting a A$3.30 bid by TPG Capital in February as too low. Subsequent offers of A$1.45 from TPG and Bain Capital were withdrawn after due diligence.
Billabong, whose brands include its namesake, as well as Von Zipper and Element, has sold off key assets and replaced its chief executive in the past year as a result of profit downgrades.
To turn the tide, new Chief Executive Launa Inman recently outlined a four-year strategy to simplify the business and close stores.
Billabong's shares closed at $A0.845, down 1.7 percent, before the announcement on Monday.
On Friday, Inman announced the appointment of Peter Myers, a former Ten Network and APN News and Media executive, as chief financial officer after the departure of former CFO Craig White shortly before Christmas.
Naude stepped aside from his position as president of Billabong's U.S. business to mount the takeover bid.
VF Corp has more than 30 brands, including the North Face, Wrangler, Timberland, Vans and Lee. The company, which has expressed an intent to acquire action sports brands, is primarily interested in the Billabong brand. Altamont is interested in Billabong's other brands and related assets.