Billabong's potential saviour says there will be "blood on the hands" of those who block takeover

23 March 2018, Written by David Simmons

Billabong's potential saviour says there will be "blood on the hands" of those who block takeover

The company looking to takeover debt-ridden Billabong (ASX: BBG), Boardriders, says there will be "blood on the hands" of those who block the takeover.

As a shareholder vote on the deal to takeover Billabong nears, Quicksliver's owner Boardriders is reportedly having trouble convincing key shareholders that the takeover is a good idea.

The US-based Boardriders offered a $1 per share bid for Billabong in January.

This controversy comes just before the vote to decide Billabong's fate next Wednesday on March 28.

The offer is unanimously supported by the Billabong's Australian board and founder Gordon Merchant.

However, Boardriders chief executive David Tanner has called out two shareholders that are undecided on the takeover.

Investment firms Ryder Capital and Adam Smith Asset Management, which have a combined 15.4 per cent stake in Billabong, are both slowing down the takeover process.

Both shareholders want Billabong to consider its options because they believe the Boardriders offer undervalues the company.

Tanner says blocking the transaction will have serious consequences for Billabong.

"Voting against the transaction is simply irresponsible to shareholders and employees and blood will be on their hands," says Tanner.

"These guys are trying to make a name for themselves and make a statement but they are putting guns to their heads and to investors' heads."

Billabong itself has warned that a rejection of the takeover would cause management instability and force the company to substantially reduce its $138.6 million of debt.

Tanner says an asset sale would not come close to meeting Billabong's debt obligations. If the takeover deal is foiled Billabong's share price will likely fall yet again.

He also says shareholders hoping for a better offer from Boardriders, or another company, are "very mistaken".

"There are cheaper and easier options out there," says Tanner.

"Rip Curl has been heavily rumoured to be up for sale and there are other options out there so this is not the only alternative."

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Business News Australia

Author: David Simmons





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