Orange County Business Journal

TPG Withdraws Bid for Billabong

Kari Hamanaka Friday, October 12, 2012

The parent of Irvine-based Billabong USA said on Thursday that a private equity firm’s offer to buy the action sports apparel and retail company was withdrawn and talks ended.

Texas-based TPG Capital LP had been conducting due diligence on Australia-based Billabong International Ltd. over the past few months after offering $713.7 million, or $1.49 per share, for the company.

That followed two previous offers made by TPG earlier this year of $825.3 million and $909.2 million.

It was rumored in recent reports in the Australian press that TPG would likely pull its bid, prompting Billabong shares to fall about 18% to $1.08 on Oct. 4 for a market value of about $449 million. The drop in price prompted an inquiry by the Australian Stock Exchange, forcing a trading halt and Billabong to release a statement confirming talks were continuing with TPG.

Billabong said at the time that TPG had “expressed concerns in relation to some issues,” but did not elaborate on those concerns.

Billabong said it will continue to focus on a four-year turnaround plan, outlined in August, which the company calls its Transformation Strategy.

The plan calls for a reduction in retail stores, pared back styles, a revival of its namesake brand and growth of the RVCA, Element and Dakine brands.

“The board is pleased with the progress around implementation of the Transformation Strategy and structural organizational change being driven by CEO Launa Inman,” Billabong Chair Ted Kunkel said in a statement. “Acting in the best interests of shareholders has meant that we have remained focused on implementing the Transformation Strategy throughout the formal process.”

Billabong has seen a challenging business environment, prompting it to sell its watch and accessories business Nixon Inc. earlier this year for $285 million in order to pay down debt.

Billabong on Thursday reiterated earlier guidance of $103 million to $113.3 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the 12 months through June.

The company also said it was still on track to see fiscal year 2016 EBITDA more than double from its 2012 fiscal year to $216.3 million.