Revised bids for Billabong around half of original offers: report

SYDNEY Fri Apr 5, 2013 7:48am EDT

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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Revised takeover offers for Australia's Billabong International Ltd (BBG.AX) have come in considerably lower than indicative bids, with the highest valuing the struggling surfwear firm at only A$287 million ($300 million), the Australian Financial Review reported on Friday.

A consortium comprising Billabong's former U.S. boss Paul Naude and private equity firm Sycamore Partners has put forward an offer of about A$0.60 per share, while a rival group made up of private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners and U.S. clothing group VF Corp (VFC.N) has offered less than A$0.50 per share, it said.

The offers are below Billabong's share price at its last close on March 28 of A$0.73 and around half the A$1.10 initial indicative bids from both consortiums, which valued the company at A$527 million ($550 million).

Since the initial offers, Billabong has posted a first-half net loss of A$536.6 million and lowered its full-year guidance, citing difficult trading conditions in Europe and a disappointing performance from its Nixon watch brand.

Billabong shares are currently in a trading halt until an announcement on the takeover bids. The stock, which has lost around two-thirds of its value in the past year, sank to an all-time low of A$0.63 last month.

In February 2012, Billabong, the sponsor of current world surfing champion Joel Parkinson, rejected an A$850 million offer from TPG Capital TPG.UL as too low.

Subsequent offers of A$1.45 from TPG and Bain Capital were withdrawn after due diligence.

The company has sold off key assets, replaced its chief executive as a result of profit downgrades and raised A$225 million in a deeply discounted rights issue to cut its debt, which currently totals about A$286 million.

($1 = 0.9609 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Jane Wardell; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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