Australia's Billabong strikes debt, asset sale deal
SYDNEY, July 16
SYDNEY, July 16 (Reuters) - Australian surfwear company Billabong International Ltd said on Tuesday it had agreed a A$395 million ($359 million)refinancing package and asset sale with former suitor Altamont Partners to raise funds to repay debt.
Billabong said it was selling its DaKine clothing and accessories brand for A$70 million to Altamont and also issuing share options in exchange for a A$325 million bridging loan facility.
Altamont and its partners could end up owning as much as 40.5 percent of Billabong if all the options and preference share issues are exercised as part of a longer-term refinancing agreed with Altamont and GE Capital.
Billabong said Chief Executive Launa Inman, in the job for a little over a year, was being replaced by Scott Olivet, a former chairman and chief executive of Oakley Inc.
Billabong said proceeds would be used to repay its existing syndicated debt facilities in full.
Billabong and its shareholders have had a turbulent time since rejecting a bid of A$3.50 a share, valuing the company at A$850 million, from rival private equity firm TPG Capital Management in February 2012.
Plagued with high debt from an ill-timed expansion and struggling as its brands fell out of favour, the company has sold assets, closed stores and embarked on a new strategy as a series of takeover proposals came and went.
Billabong shares were suspended ahead of the announcement, having last traded at A$0.25.
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