Surfer competing in a Billabong tournament
Shares of Australian troubled surfwear retailer Billabong International jumped like crazy after the company announced it has attracted a second suitor from an unnamed party which gave a A$694 million ($707 million) offer, at par with rival bidder TPG Capital.
Billabong shares grew as much as 11.5 cents, or 9.1 per cent, to $1.385 cents when trading resumed on Thursday. However, it was still below the tentative $1.45 per share bids given by the two suitors.
Billabong shares closed Wednesday at A$1.27, down 75 per cent over the past 18 months.
In a filing at the Australian Securities Exchange on Thursday, the debt-laden surfwear chain said it received "an indicative, non-binding and conditional proposal from another party interested in acquiring all of the shares in the company."
Media reports point to Bain Capital and KKR as the possible suitors.
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The second suitor's offer, worth around $1.45 a share, just runs parallel to the price that U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital offered in July.
Yet, investors and industry observers are excited as the takeover ruckus over Billabong will trigger a bid battle.
"It's great news for shareholders of Billabong because it adds pricing tension," senior equity analyst Tim Montague-Jones told Bloomberg News. ''The probability is quite high that a higher offer could come through. A deal could get done."
As with TPG Capital, the unidentified bidder has been allowed to access Gold Coast, Australia-based Billabong's accounts. TPG started due diligence in late August.
"The board does not intend to make any further announcements unless and until a recommended offer is secured, or unless there is a development which it considers requires disclosure," the company said.
But neither offer reflects the fundamental value of Billabong in the context of a change of control transaction," Billabong said in its statement, noting no guarantee is presumed that the bidders will give a bid that can be recommended to shareholders by Billabong's directors.
"The board of Billabong now considers that the interests of shareholders will be best served by a formal process to thoroughly evaluate whether a change in control offer, at a price and on terms that the board would recommend, can be secured," the company said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
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