Australian surfwear brand Billabong has made the first drawdowns from the revolving credit facility agreed with GE Capital for up to US$100m. 

"Together with the previously announced term loan from the Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Consortium, today's announcement is another important step in putting in place a capital structure that allows the company to focus on and execute its operational turnaround," said company CEO Neil Fiske.

Billabong has been mired in uncertainty and under-performance for more than a year, posting full-year losses of AUD859.8m (US$784m) in August and cutting the value of its surfwear brand to zero.

As previously announced, Billabong will undertake a non-underwritten, renounceable rights offering to raise AUD50m at AUD0.28 per share.

This is subject to shareholder approval of the proposed AUD135m (US$119.5m) placement at AUD0.41 per share to certain entities affiliated with the C/O Consortium.

The shareholder meeting to seek approval for the placement is expected to take place in January, with Billabong intending to launch the rights issue on the release of its half-year results on or around 21 February.

At Billabong's annual general meeting (AGM) last week, Billabong chairman Ian Pollard said any belief in a realistic rival deal for the retailer "ignores the reality of the situation". He also rubbished proposals by rival shareholder Coastal Capital International for wholesale board changes.