Billabong Raises Money


Yet another outdoor sports company was out raising money in order to improve its balance sheet. Last week, Billabong International Ltd said it has raised AUS$291 million (USD$231 million) from institutions and retail investors in a rights issue. The oversubscribed retail rights issue raised AUS$61 million and the Company also raised around AUS$230 million from institutions. The cash will be used to reduce the company's debt to its six banks to about AUS$450 million.

Billabong said sales at its US stores had dived as much as 20 per cent since mid-April compared with a year earlier, which it expected to continue for at least the next six weeks. "After the Easter period, it just became difficult to get any paper (orders) from anyone," chief executive Derek O'Neill said. "To have no order at this stage from a quarter of your account base indicating that they want to buy in-season is pretty much unprecedented for us."

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