Orange County Business Journal

TPG Moves Forward with Due Diligence on Billabong

Kari Hamanaka Thursday, July 26, 2012

The board of Australia-based action sports apparel company Billabong International Ltd. said it would facilitate due diligence by prospective buyer TPG International LLC.

The board said that the development doesn’t guarantee a sale and added it “does not believe that the proposal reflects the fundamental value of Billabong in the context of a change of control transaction.”

Billabong International is the parent of Irvine-based Billabong USA and sells clothes, shoes and accessories under its own brand as well as RVCA, Element and others.

TPG, a private equity firm based in Fort Worth, Texas, submitted a bid to acquire Billabong earlier this week for $713.7 million. It is the third bird for Billabong from TPG and comes in much lower than the firm’s original offer of $825.3 million followed up by a second offer of $909.2 million.

Due diligence is expected to take several weeks, Billabong said.

Billabong founder, board member and major shareholder Gordon Merchant had said earlier this year in response to TPG’s second bid that he wouldn’t consider even an offer of $1.1 billion. Merchant later told an Australian newspaper in June that he would now consider lower offers on the company.