AUSTRALIA: Billabong halts trading as takeover talks continue
Australian surfwear brand Billabong has halted trading in its shares while negotiations continue with its two suitors.
The company said the halt, which is in place until Thursday, was necessary while it continues to discuss the two proposals.
"Discussions in relation to these proposals remain incomplete and the company expects to make an announcement when the discussions are complete," it said in a filing to the Australian Stock Exchange today (2 April).
The company has been in talks with two takeover suitors - VF Corp and private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners, as well as North American division boss Paul Naude and Sycamore Partners. Due diligence was expected to be completed by 28 March.
The two companies have made bids of AUD1.10 per share each, which value the company at AUD524m (US$548m).
This is the second trading halt the company has implemented, with the company stopping trading in its shares on 21 March after its share price plunged over concerns over the potential takeover offer.
In February, the company reported an AUD536.6m (US$554.3m) first-half loss, compared with a profit of AUD16.1m in the first-half of the prior year.
This year's results include AUD427.8m in non-cash impairment for goodwill and brands, and a write down of AUD$106.6m on the company's investment in Nixon. Excluding these items, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up 9.9% to AUD57.2m, Billabong said.
Sales during the half-year fell 8.1% to AUD702m, driven by a drop of 17.3% in Europe and 5.3% in the Americas on a constant currency basis.
The brand has had a difficult 2012, after rejecting an AUD3.30 per share bid by TPG Capital in February as too low subsequent bids of AUD1.45 from TPG and Bain Capital were withdrawn after due diligence.
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