Coastal defends Billabong play

The hedge fund insists it is not a 'vulture' fund or 'serial pest'.

United States hedge fund Coastal Capital International has defended its investment in embattled surfwear retailer Billabong International (BBG), insisting it is interested in boosting returns for all shareholders, according to The Australian Financial Review.

The hedge fund's managing partner, Todd Plutsky, defended against suggestions it is a vulture fund and “serial pest”.

“In all of our investments in Australia we have done nothing but seek improved value for all shareholders,” Mr Plutsky told the AFR.

Coastal has taken a 5% stake in Billabong and called for a shareholder meeting to spill the board and reform the company's constitution to allow shareholders to have a say on future debt and equity financing.

Mr Plutsky criticised Altamont Capital and Blackstone Group for their behaviour towards Billabong.

"If anyone is a 'vulture' here, I would postulate that it is Altamont who at first indicated that they would buy all of the company's shares at a premium and then backed the company into the corner into agreeing to a very unfavourable deal selling up to 43% of its shares at a steep discount,” Mr Plutsky reportedly added.

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