Orange County Business Journal

Billabong Breaks Off Talks With TPG

Kari Hamanaka Monday, February 27, 2012

Australia-based Billabong International Ltd. said Monday it has broken off talks with private equity firm TPG Capital Partners LP after the two were unable to agree upon a price for the apparel company.

Billabong, which owns Irvine-based Billabong USA, makes clothes and accessories under its namesake brand along with Element, RVCA and others.

Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG offered $825.3 million for Billabong earlier this month.

Billabong on Sunday rejected the original bid, as well as a second offer of $909.2 million made on Monday.

An attorney for Billabong major shareholders and board members Gordon Merchant and Colette Paull sent a letter to Billabong prior to the talks with TPG ending stating the two did not accept the private equity firm’s offer. Merchant is the founder of Billabong. Paull was an employee of the company during its early days.

The letter stated Merchant and Paull would not support any move “to assist or facilitate a proposal by TPG Capital to commence due diligence on Billabong, even if the price TPG offered was $4 per share.” The two cited a price in Australian currency that would come to about $1.1 billion in U.S. dollars.

Billabong said it is still open to discussions with TPG or other bidders.