Billabong Slumps to Record Low as Takeover Deadline Approaches

Billabong International Ltd. (BBG), Australia’s largest sports-wear company, fell to a record low today as it awaited takeover offers from two private equity groups that have made provisional approaches.

The stock slumped as much as 22 percent to 63 Australian cents, the lowest level since an August 2000 stock-market listing, before paring losses to 69 cents at 11:37 a.m. in Sydney.

Two groups, consisting of Altamont Capital Partners and VF Corp. (VFC) on one side and Sycamore Partners Management and Billabong Americas head Paul Naude on the other, have said they may offer A$1.10 for the Gold Coast, Australia-based company, valuing the business at A$527 million ($547 million).

“Volume today is quite heavy which suggests that something might be up,” said Anson Rosewall, an institutional dealer at BBY Ltd. in Sydney. “It may have been operator error, the second thing going round is that there’s going to be no bid.”

Chris Fogarty, a Sydney-based spokesman for Billabong, didn’t return a mobile-phone message and e-mail seeking comment.

The company last month posted a record loss on A$567 million ($588 million) of charges as it wrote off most of the value of its main brand. Billabong will post 80 percent of its assets and 85 percent of its earnings as security to its lenders after brand and goodwill writedowns put it in breach of terms on its debt, it said at the time.

To contact the reporter on this story: David Fickling in Sydney at dfickling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anjali Cordeiro at acordeiro2@bloomberg.net

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