Billabong Says Suitors Remain in the Process After Share Slump

Billabong International Ltd. said two potential bidders are still interested in Australia’s largest sports-wear company after the shares fell today to a record low as it awaits offers from the private equity groups.

“Both of the consortia who have submitted indicative proposals remain in the process,” Billabong said in a regulatory filing today. “The process for the change of control proposals previously announced is ongoing.”

The stock slumped 14 percent to 69.5 Australian cents at 11:53 a.m. in Sydney, when shares were suspended from trade for the rest of the day. Volumes traded were the highest in more than two months. Billabong is not aware of reasons for the increased trading, the company said.

Anson Rosewall, an institutional dealer at BBY Ltd. in Sydney, said some investors may have become concerned that firms bids might not emerge. “Volume today is quite heavy, which suggests that something might be up,” Rosewall said.

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

The company last month posted a record loss on A$567 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.