TEXT-Billabong says acquires Tigerlily brand

Thu Dec 6, 2007 4:59pm EST

(Following is a release from Australian clothing retailer Billabong International Ltd (BBG.AX))

SYDNEY, Dec 7 - Billabong International Limited has today reached agreement to acquire Australia's Tigerlily swimwear and apparel business from founder Jodhi Meares.

Billabong International Limited chief executive officer Derek O'Neill said Tigerlily represents the Billabong Group's first acquisition focusing exclusively on the girls market.

"We have been seeking to expand our girls business and Tigerlily, with its accent on swim, is very complementary to our Billabong Girls brand," said Mr O'Neill.

"It is a brand with a strong profile and market acceptance."

"We plan to retain its immediate focus on the Australian market and, over time, we will explore opportunities in other territories."

Ms Meares said the sale would help Tigerlily fast-track its domestic growth, with Billabong providing the necessary support to enable the brand to realise its vision.

"I've admired the Billabong business for many years and I'm continually drawn to the fact that it is a company built around a lifestyle," she said.

"It is a philosophy that I've been mindful of in the growth of Tigerlily so it's an entirely appropriate fit."

Ms Meares is remaining with the business in an active creative role.

Tigerlily is expected to contribute less than 1% of Group sales in its first full year in the Billabong Group. The acquisition is expected to be earnings per share positive in its first full year in the Group.

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