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SBD Global/August 6, 2012/Finance

Billabong Eyes Turnaround, Continues Talks With TPG

Billabong and private equity firm TPG are "nailing down the final details" of a confidentiality agreement that will allow TPG to "commence due diligence" on the surfwear retailer this week, according to Colin Kruger of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. What is unclear is whether any other interested parties "will be allowed access to the data room without first tabling a formal bid," and whether the Billabong board will have to make the information public. Any rival interest to TPG's $695M offer is expected to come from other private equity firms, with Billabong facing "a prolonged restructure to get the business back on track." The new management team, led by Billabong CEO Launa Inman, is "expected to announce its turnaround strategy for Billabong" on Aug. 27 when the company reveals its full-year results. Inman has "publicly backed" Billabong's strategy to move from being a purely wholesale business into the retail channel, but said the company had "underestimated how difficult it would be, and that these things take time" (SMH, 8/6).

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