Billabong Boardriders

LOS ANGELES Billabong shareholders have given a nod of approval to Boardriders Inc.’s last minute offer increasing its purchase price for Billabong International Ltd.

The vote, in Australia, paves the way for Boardriders — parent of the Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes brands — to acquire Billabong and its stable of brands for an increased purchase price of $160 million, up from an original offer of $155.5 million.

Billabong’s portfolio consists of its namesake brand, Element and RVCA — its three largest divisions — in addition to VonZipper and Xcel and others.

The increased offer was made just before the shareholders’ meeting.

The deal must now go to court for approval at a hearing scheduled for April 6, with the transaction expected to close April 24.

The deal, if approved, will merge two of the largest names in the industry to create a $2 billion entity with a stable of 11 brands, a global workforce of some 10,000 workers, more than 630 stores and 7,000 wholesale accounts.

Boardriders chief executive officer Dave Tanner told WWD in January, at the time of the proposed purchase, that the deal was a “transformative acquisition to create a leading action sports platform.”

The purchase is seen as crucial to the future stability of Billabong as it faces tepid earnings growth and looming debt obligations.

Last month Billabong reported its results for the first-half, ended in December. Business conditions worsened, as expected, in what the company partially attributed to continued challenges facing the broader action sports industry.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were off 19.1 percent year-on-year to about $15 million, based on current exchange rates. Revenue, excluding the impact of exchange rates, fell 1.5 percent to $365.42 million.

The company’s three major brands saw mixed results for the period with Billabong and Element sales down, while RVCA notched a gain.

Shareholders Ryder Capital and Adam Smith Asset Management had expressed their dismay with the original Boardriders proposal. However, Billabong International management had stressed the importance of the sale to the company’s future.

Chairman Ian Pollard said in a statement at the time of the half-year results that the sale to Boardriders provided certainty for the future of the Billabong organization, and warned at the time, “If this [sale] does not proceed, change will be necessary to the company’s capital structure, strategy, and operations.”

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus