BILLABONG'S BAIN PAIN DASHES SHAREHOLDER HOPES

BILLABONG'S BAIN PAIN DASHES SHAREHOLDER HOPES

EMBATTLED surf apparel company Billabong (ASX: BBG) has been dumped by one of its potential takeover suitors.

Shareholder hopes of a bidding war that could boost the value of the company were doused today with Billabong announcing the withdrawal of an unnamed party which two weeks ago expressed conditional and non-binding interest in a potential takeover.

That party has been widely reported as United States-based asset management firm Bain Capital.

Bain reportedly matched an earlier offer from private equity firm TPG International that valued Billabong at $694.5 million, or “around” $1.45 per share. The company was permitted, along with TPG, to begin due diligence of Billabong.

Billabong insists no offer to date reflects the real value of the company and reiterated today it was not obliged to accept any potential takeover proposal.

“There is no guarantee that, following this formal process, a transaction will be agreed or that the board will recommend any proposal,” says the company in a statement.

Billabong’s share price dropped 8.3 per cent this morning, to $1.325. The company recently reported a net loss of $276 million, its first since listing in 2001.

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