NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital Management Thursday, Sept. 19, emerged as victors in a refinancing tussle at board sports clothing and equipment group Billabong International, elbowing out Altamont Capital Partners and Blackstone Group's (BX) GSO Capital with a deal which will eventually land the successful investors up to 41% of the equity.
The partners, which hold most of Gold Coast, Australia-based Billabong's senior debt, forged a binding deal with Billabong, having sweetened the terms of a previous July proposal. Their victory follows a long series of abortive takeover attempts at Billabong, starting with a February 2012 proposal by TPG Capital. As bidders came and went, series of profit warnings undermined Billabong's negotiating position. Earlier this year Billabong started work on refinancing its debt instead and in July it struck a deal-in-principle with Altamont, a one-time late-stage bidder, and GSO Capital, initially snubbing a late approach from Centerbridge and Oaktree.
Billabong Chairman Ian Pollard said the Centerbridge/Oaktree package is "in the best interests of the Company, its shareholders, its employees and other key Billabong stakeholders, on both economic terms and in providing near term certainty."
"The proposal was significantly improved compared to the C/O Consortium's previously announced proposal and offered lower financial leverage and cheaper cost of funds with lower equity dilution than the Altamont proposal plus the ability for existing shareholders to participate alongside the C/O Consortium via the rights offering," he added in a statement.Billabong shares closed up in Sydney A$0.025, or 5.6%, at A$47.50.
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