Billabong may face class action

US hedge funds dare Billabong not to consider their rival refinancing plan.

Oaktree Capital and Centerbridge Partners have warned of a potential class action by shareholders if Billabong International's (BBG) board dismisses the US hedge funds' $325 million refinancing proposal, the Australian Financial Review reports.

The Oaktree-Centrebridge debt and equity plan, which rivals another by Altamont, involves a $135 million placement at 35 cents a share and an offer to shareholders to reinvest in the surfwear company through a $32.5 million rights offer at 30 cents a share.

The pair claims the deal would save Billabong between $119 million and $143  million in interest costs, compared to Altamont's proposal to pay an average of 19.9 cents a share for new equity.

“It should not be the case in a regulated fair market that a deal of this quality, compared to the other deal, should fail,” one source close to the Centerbridge-Oaktree consortium told theFinancial Review.

Meanwhile, sources close to Altamont told the newspaper Oaktree and Centrebridge have misled investors because the offer is said to contain provisions that have previously been ruled out by the Takeovers Panel.

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