Billabong has taken much-needed loan from California based private equity firm Altamont Capital and Blackstone Group. This deal will hopefully mark the end of Billabong’s finance whoas, which have seen the Australian surfwear giant’s shares fall 98% since 2007.
The deal involves a loan of $294 million to help Billabong repay accumulating debt.
Altamont Capital could own as much as 40% of the company in the long term if it exercises the options and convertible notes that it will get as part of the deal.
Apart from the much-needed cash, the rescue package comes with a big change at the top. Billabong has hired former Oakley Inc. chairman and chief executive Scott Olivet as CEO. He’ll be replacing Launa Inman at the end if July 2013. Inman was hired as CEO only one year ago mainly to help with the companies slump in retail sales.
As a separate deal Altamont Capital acquired Billabong’s action sports brand Dakine for $70 million and will operate it as a separate company. In 2008 Billabong bought the then Hawaiian based brand for $100 million. Dakine has seen positive growth over the past five years moving into the outerwear market and recently opening a new office building in it’s home base of Portland Oregon.
Billabong is also shopping around it’s Canadian retail chain West 49 but no word is out yet on the sale of the largest action sports retail chain in Canada.