ALTERNATE FINANCING OPTION FOR BILLABONG: Surfwear firm Billabong International Ltd. has received an alternate financing option from two investment firms.
Billabong earlier this week accepted a deal from investors led by Altamont Capital Partners that included the Blackstone Group’s credit arm, GSO Capital Partners. That deal was for a 325 million Australian dollar, or $295 million at current exchange, bridge loan facility in exchange for 15 percent of the company. It also calls for Billabong to sell its action sports DaKine brand to Altamont for 70 million Australian dollars, or $64 million. Subject to shareholder approval, the Altamont-Blackstone consortium could end up with as much as 40.49 percent of the company if all options and preference share issues are exercised under a long-term refinancing package.
The latest option is from Oaktree Capital Group and Centerbridge Capital Partners, two U.S. firms specializing in distressed debt. They hold the majority of Billabong’s 289 million Australian dollar, or $267 million, debt facility.
The Oaktree-Centerbridge proposal, said to save Billabong millions in interest payments over a five-year period, is believed to be a better option than the one inked with Altamont and Blackstone. The new proposal will give Billabong liquidity up front and allows the company to keep its DaKine brand in exchange for 60 percent of the equity in the surfwear firm. Billabong has until Oct. 31 to execute the option.