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SBD Global/July 19, 2013/Finance

Billabong Rejects Rival Refinancing Offer Because Of Bid's Late Timing

Australian surfwear retailer Billabong Int'l said that "it has rejected a rival refinancing proposal" from lenders Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Management because "they submitted their bid too late," according to Gillian Tan of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The company "has already agreed to accept a rescue package" offered by a consortium comprising Californian private-equity firm Altamont Capital Partners and Blackstone Group LP's credit arm, GSO Capital Partners. Prior to agreeing to that offer, Billabong said it made "numerous requests" to Centerbridge and Oaktree to submit a rival financing proposal, which it claims never materialized (WSJ, 7/18). BUSINESS WEEK's Kyle Stock reported the package offered by Altamont Capital and Blackstone Group "is complicated," including a $294M bridge loan and a new CEO. Billabong "took the deal and announced the leadership change." Shareholders "will decide on the particulars." The big question remains: "How did such a hot performer ... wipe out so spectacularly?" IG Markets market strategist Evan Lucas said, "They grew too fast and leveraged themselves too hard" (BUSINESS WEEK, 7/18). In California, Connelly & Usheroff reported former Oakley CEO David Scott Olivet will become CEO and managing director, replacing Launa Inman. Altamont parners Jesse Rogers and Keoni Schwartz "will be nominated to the Billabong board." Under the terms of the deal, the Altamont consortium "could wind up owning" 36-40.5% of Billabong (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 7/17).
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