Quiksilver parent Boardriders Inc. is set to purchase Billabong International Ltd. in a deal that gives the surf company an enterprise value of $298 million and unifies two of the action sports industry’s largest heritage brands under one roof.
The deal, with a purchase price of $155.5 million, equates to 79 cents per share.
If combined, the business would total more than 7,000 wholesale accounts across over 110 countries, alongside a retail business totaling more than 630 stores.
Boardriders is expected to also shuffle its management team if the deal goes through with Boardriders parent Oaktree Capital Management, placing Dave Tanner in role of Boardriders’ chief executive officer. Tanner is Oaktree’s managing director and Boardriders’ chief turnaround officer. Boardriders’ ceo Pierre Agnes is expected to assume the president title and keeps a seat on the board if the deal closes, which Boardriders said is expected by the first half of the year.
“Creating one integrated global platform will enable the combined company to enhance its investments in product innovation and quality, digital marketing, consumer engagement, and e-commerce, which ultimately will benefit our consumers and strengthen the company and industry,” Agnes said in a statement Thursday. “With a larger and stronger platform, we see many exciting opportunities for our employees, customers, suppliers and athletes.”
The deal would be subject to a vote in March by Billabong shareholders, but would allow the company to bypass sales of additional parts of the business or the need to raise more equity to pay off its debts, Billabong chair Ian Pollard said in a statement.
“While Billabong has made significant operational progress in recent years, the board is also mindful of the fact that, in the absence of the [deal], Billabong shareholders face ongoing risks and uncertainties associated with the business,” Pollard said. “These include risks relating to the state of the global retail market as it affects both Billabong and its wholesale customers; the operations and project risks associated with the execution of Billabong’s strategy; and risks relating to the refinancing of its debt.”
Billabong has been in the midst of a multiyear turnaround under ceo Neil Fiske. The strategy has included the sale of skate brand Sector 9 and the swim brand Tigerlily among other lines of business, in addition to an emphasis on growth for key brands such as RVCA and Element.
Fiske said Thursday a deal with Boardriders would supply Billabong with a “a new organization that will have the scale and financial security to continue to support and build” the company’s brands.
Billabong is expected to retain a “significant presence” in its home market of Australia, a company spokesperson said. However, it is yet to be determined whether or not the current Burleigh Heads, Queensland office will remain the company’s headquarters moving forward. Boardriders currently has corporate headquarters in Huntington Beach, Calif.