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Australia’s Billabong: Refinancing Within Reach, as Losses Mounting

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Billabong, one of Australia’s most recognizable sportswear brands, is optimistic that a refinancing offer will help the company move out of the red. The company founded in 1973, reached its market value peak in 2007 with a total of A$3.84 bn. However, this once thriving and prosperous business which popularized Australian beachwear culture to the world has been slowly deteriorating over the past years. Figures show a net loss of A$859.5 million for this year, compared to last year’s net loss of A$275.6 million. On the other hand, net profit fell to A$7.7 million from last year’s, A$33.5 earnings. Sales in the U.S., which is Billabong’s largest market, dropped substantially after the closing of several stores. Along the same lines, store closures and low sales affected sales revenue in Australia, as heavy discounting affected the European markets.

Billabong has been approached with two refinancing offers. U.S. Hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management OAKCP.UL and Centerbridge Partners has submitted one of the offers, while the other offer has been submitted by U.S. Private equity firm, Altamont Capital Partners. The company’s chairman, Ian Pollard, has announced, “We are within weeks of finalizing our long-term funding arrangements.” Pollard did not comment on which offer was favored.

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Australia's Billabong: Refinancing Within Reach, as Losses Mounting by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes