Billabong Rises as Surfwear Maker Says Asset Sale Talks Advanced

Billabong International Ltd., the 40-year-old Australian surfwear company, said refinancing and asset-sale talks with former suitors Sycamore Partners Management and Altamont Capital Partners are “well advanced.”

Shares in the company, which has breached debt repayment terms, surged as much as 35 percent following the statement to the Australian stock exchange and were 31 percent higher at 17 Australian cents at 2:49 p.m. in Sydney.

The Gold Coast, Australia-based retailer, whose market value reached A$3.84 billion ($3.54 billion) in May 2007, has fallen about 80 percent this year after raising capital, selling assets and rejecting at least two takeover bids in less than two years. The company cut its earnings forecast again earlier this month and said it may sell Canadian retail chain West 49 to repay debt.

Billabong, which announced the refinancing and asset-sale talks with Sycamore Partners and Altamont on June 4, said today any proceeds would be used to repay in full its syndicated debt facilities.

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