Billabong surges on Altamont move

Stock soar 45% in morning trade after US private equity firm takes effective control of embattled retailer.

Investors have cheered a move by US private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners to take effective control of embattled surfwear retailer Billabong.

Altamont will buy out the company's debt and oust its chief executive Laura Inman.

Shares in the retailer soared 45% to 36.25 cents at 1105 AEST, against a benchmark fall of 0.01%. 

Altamont's two founding partners will join Billabong's board under the deal, which will see the private equity firm take a stake of up to 40% of the group in exchange for $325 million in debt refinancing. Billabong's board has agreed to sell the bag and outerwear business, Dakine, to Altamont for $70 million. 

As a condition of the deal CEO Laura Inman is to leave the company and will be replaced by Scott Olivet, the former CEO and Chairman of sunglass and sportswear giant, Oakley.

The news came as Billabong emerged from a trading halt after extended talks on asset sales and refinancing options with Altamont and alternate suitor Sycamore Partners.

"This financing package is intended to provide Billabong with a flexible capital structure to allow it to stabilise the business, address its cost structure, and pursue a strategy to grow the business," the group said.

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