Billabong close to buyout, shares halted

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The great Billabong (BBG.AX) buyout saga goes on.

The struggling surfwear company is believed to be close to a buyout from former insider Paul Naude, once head of the company’s Americas operations.

Senior management at Billabong missed the relaxing holiday weekend as talks ground on and various takeover bids were finalised. As of this morning, Naude appears to be the front runner.

According to The Australian Financial Review:

Sources have said that after prolonged negotiations over the weekend across different time zones, Naude – the former head of the Americas – and buyout firm Sycamore Partners are close to penning a deal.

However, the final offer price is said be materially below the initial $1.10 offer, which valued the company at $527 million.

This comes on the heels of an offer from Altamont Capital, a private equity firm, and US retailing giant V.F. Corp (VFC), which holds the license to The North Face, Vans, and a number of other global brands popular with consumers worldwide. This bid is also believed to be below $1.10.

However, any deal will need the approval of Billabong’s Gordon Merchant, founder and board member, as well as the company’s shareholders.

Billabong shares have been halted at the company’s request. They last traded for 73 cents.

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