Billabong International Limited is to buy the retail operations of Quiet Flight, one of its key retail partners on the US east coast.

Quiet Flight, which operates 13 stores including flagship Billabong and Element shops in New York, is expected to contribute approximately 3% of the Billabong Group's sales
for the 2008-09 financial year.

Billabong chief executive officer Derek O'Neill said Quiet Flight's retail management team would be retained as part of the transaction.

"Quiet Flight's founder, Ed Leasure, opened his first surf shop at Cocoa Beach in Florida in 1972 and he has been doing business with Billabong over several decades," said

"Ed has been a great support to our US east coast business and we cemented our relationship with him in 2005 when he opened a licensed Billabong store and a
neighbouring Element store in the middle of Times Square, New York."

Quiet Flight operates under a number of multi-branded retail banners in Florida, including Quiet Flight stores in Universal Studios, New Symrna, Tampa and Cocoa Beach, and Surf Warehouse stores in Orlando.

The business also operates the Billabong and Element stores in Times Square, New York, as well as a recently opened Billabong/Element store in nearby Herald Square, New York.