There’s bloody drama on the surf, mates. And it’s not just because some fucken tourist dropped in at the locals only spot. Perennial Australian surfing giants Billabong have been bought out by a US group, one that just-so-happens to also own direct rivals Quiksilver.
Boardriders has successfully convinced board directors of Billabong to hand over the ankle strap, in a deal that’s reportedly worth around $200 million.
Boardriders itself is a wholly owned division of LA-based private equity house Oaktree Capital Management, which previously bought 19% of Billabong’s shares. In 2016, it also bought a 90% stake of Quiksilver, removing it from the stockmarket as part of a broader refinancing plan.
This now essentially means that Billabong and Quiksilver are owned by the same company.
The Boardriders deal has been on the table for a handful of weeks now, with the company to pay $1 per share of Billabong stock, valuing the company at $198.1 million.
Directors stated that if Billabong were to continue as an independent company it would’ve had to reduce its debt, meaning selling off assets, shrinking operations, or tapping shareholders.
Today’s decision was confirmed by directors in a series of short statements to media, with chief Neil Fisk confident the “authenticity and heritage” of the brand would be maintained and enhanced by the new ownership group.
I’m confident those qualities will not simply be protected but enhanced by a new organisation that will have the scale and financial security to continue to support and build them as we enter into a new and dynamic retail environment.
The company was founded on the Gold Coast in 1973. Today’s announcement brings to an end 45 years of continuous Australian-based independent ownership for the company.
No seppos better bloody touch Hot Tuna, I tell you what.