SHAREHOLDERS DIVIDED ON BILLABONG CAPITAL RAISING

SHAREHOLDERS DIVIDED ON BILLABONG CAPITAL RAISING

ONLY half of Billabong’s retail shareholders have signed on to the company’s capital raising venture, but chief executive Launa Inman says she is pleased with that level of interest.

Under the offer, eligible shareholders could subscribe for six new Billabong ordinary shares for every seven existing shares, at a price of $1.02 per new share.

Billabong (ASX:BBG) today reported 51 per cent of eligible shareholders had taken up the offer.

The investors took $35.5 million worth of shares, leaving a shortfall of 33,219,619 units to be taken up by underwriters Goldman Sachs Australia and Deutsche Bank AG, Sydney Branch.

The market reacted favourably and Billabong’s share price was up most than 10 per cent in early trading, but the price was back to even for the day by the early afternoon.

“The Company is pleased with the support shown by our retail shareholders for the Entitlement Offer,” says Inman in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The Retail Entitlement Offer completes an important capital raising for Billabong, allowing the Company to focus on the next phase of its strategy”.

The institutional component of the offer, which was finalised in late June, raised about $156.1 million. Institutions were more partial to the offering and took up 79 per cent of their entitlement with the balance going to new investors.

Billabong has made $225.4 million from the capital raising and it will be used to pay down the company’s $350 million debt

The allotment of new shares will be completed by July 26 and will commence trading the following day.

Inman, who took over just two months ago from long-serving Billabong CEO Derek O’Neill, has pledged to deliver a report in late August after an “in-depth’’ review of the company’s operations.

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