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Centerbridge and Oaktree mull bids for Billabong after panel ruling

22 Aug 2013

surfing2_sqCenterbridge and Oaktree are mulling making bids for Billabong after the Takeover Panel made significant changes to the Australian surfwear group’s refinancing deal with buyout firm Altamont.

Last month the two US private equity firms asked Australian regulators to look into the deal, which they said contained lock-up devices that are anti-competitive and coercive.

Under the terms of the deal, Altamont will receive a 15 per cent stake in the group for a A$325m ($294m) bridge loan and will pay a further A$70m for the DaKine clothing brand.

The panel said that the deal did include lock-up devices such as a A$65m termination fee and a 35 per cent interest payable on a $40m note if shareholders did not agree to convert it into equity.

The ruling has prompted Billabong and Altamont to change the terms of the deal such as reducing interest rates on loans and slashing the break fee to A$6m.

Now that the penalty for accepting a rival offer has been reduced, Centerbridge and Oaktree, which were in buyout talks with Billabong, are considering making offers for Billabong, said the Australian.

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