SYDNEY, April 9 Australia's Billabong
International Ltd said on Tuesday a consortium led by
its former U.S. boss, Paul Naude, had cut its takeover bid for
the struggling surf wear company by 45 percent to $300 million.
Billabong said it would enter a 10-day exclusivity period
with Naude and Sycamore Partners, but cautioned the A$0.60 per
share deal was not guaranteed. Major owners Gordon Merchant and
Collette Paull confirmed that they will accept the offer in the
absence of any superior proposal, the company said in a
statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.
Naude and Sycamore Partners beat out a rival bid from a
consortium comprised of private equity firm Altamont Capital
Partners and U.S. clothing group VF Corp.
Both bidders had reduced their offers from indicative
matching prices of A$1.10 a share, which had valued the company
at A$527 million ($549 million).
Billabong shares last closed on Thursday at A$0.73. 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.
The VF Corp and Naude offers are the fourth and fifth
takeover approaches for the Australian company since February
Billabong had a tumultuous 2012, alienating investors after
rejecting a A$3.30 per share bid by TPG Capital that
February as too low. Subsequent offers of A$1.45 from TPG and
Bain Capital were withdrawn after due diligence.