Oaktree’s Boardriders cleared to acquire Australian surfwear company Billabong
The board of Australian surf fashion group Billabong has agreed to a takeover from California-based Boardriders.
Owner of Quiksilver Boardirders tabled the bid of around $156mn just before the new year and now looks set to complete the acquisition, barring any unforeseen complications.
Los Angeles-based equity company Oaktree Capital Management owns Boardriders, and already has a 19% share in Billabong. The $0.78 per share to be paid by the Californian firm represents a 28% hike on the share price at the time the bid was made – including debt, this takes the enterprise value of Billabong to $298mn.
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Paying down significant debt appears to be the major motivator behind the move by the surfwear company’s board. For Boardriders, it opens up new opportunities.
Upon closing of the transaction, Dave Tanner, currently Managing Director at Oaktree and Chief Turnaround Officer for Boardriders, will become Chief Executive Officer of Boardriders. Pierre Agnes, currently Chief Executive Officer of Boardriders, will become President of Boardriders, remain a Board member, and lead a substantial portion of the integration of the two companies.
Tanner said: "The combination of these two leading action sports companies, which include a broad range of iconic brands with deep heritage in surf, snow and skate, is very exciting for all of us who share a passion for outdoor action sports.
“We are committed to preserving the autonomy, creativity, and unique cultures of all the brands while we leverage our best-in-class operating platform to accelerate the growth of the brands globally. We are excited to become one family with the Billabong team, and look forward to working together arm-in-arm to achieve the promise that this combination offers."