Billabong International Limited said its board of directors is considering a debt refinancing proposal submitted Friday by Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners, likely delaying implementation of a rival offer by a consortium of investors led by Altamont Capital Partners.
The latest proposal from the two U.S. hedge funds would provide the Australian action sports company with a $135 million equity investment, or roughly twice the Altamont consortium’s offer, which would help the company reduce its debt and save up to $129 million in interest payments over five years. It also would give Billabong until March 31, 2014 to pay back a $292.4 million interim loan compared with the Altamont consortium’s Dec. 31 deadline.
In a statement released to the media, Oaktree and Centerbridge said their new offer “provides the board with greater flexibility for addressing the company's near- and longer-term capital and operational needs when compared to the revised Altamont … proposal.”
The offer comes after an Australian Takeovers Panel essentially ordered Billabong to revise its $294 million refinancing agreement with the Altamont consortium, which Oaktree and Centerbridge argued was designed to shut out competing bids and would force Billabong shareholders to make excessive concession.