TPG Capital only bidder left in race for Australian Billabong

Australian surf, skate and snow apparel and accessories retailer Billabong International Ltd (ASX:BBG) on Thursday said US private equity firm TPG Capital had remained the sole bidder in its formal sale process after an unnamed second party had dropped out of the race.

Billabong announced on 6 September that an unnamed interested party had approached it with a AUD1.45 (USD1.52/EUR1.16) a share conditional, non-binding takeover proposal, matching the bid received from US private equity firm TPG Capital on 24 July.

Both parties were granted access to due diligence under nondisclosure agreements, Billabong said at the time, without naming the second bidder.
According to sources cited by Bloomberg and Reuters then, the rival suitor was US private equity group Bain Capital LLC which offered AUD694m for the surfwear maker.

None of the two offers reflect the fundamental value of Billabong, its board has said, adding that the best interest of shareholders would be better served by a formal process to evaluate whether it could secure an offer that the board would recommend.

In February, Billabong turned down a takeover offer of AUD3.30 a share, valuing it at AUD851m, from TPG. At the time founder and largest shareholder Gordon Merchant, together with director Colette Paull said they would not accept any offer below AUD4.00 a share.

In its statement from today, Billabong said that its formal sale process continues, with no guarantees that a deal will be reached.