'Ignored' hedge funds hit out at Billabong: report

Centrebridge, Oaktree say their rival bid would have been less dilutive.

A pair of United States hedge funds have accused Billabong International Ltd of ignoring a rival bid to the one it agreed to with Altamont Capital earlier earlier this week,The Australian reports.

According to the newspaper, a source close to hedge funds Centerbridge Partners and Oaktree Capital said the pair had proposed a debt-for-equity swap which would have given them a 60% stake in Billabong and which the funds claim would have been less dilutive to shareholders.

Earlier this month, Centrebridge and Oaktree purchased the bulk of Billabong's senior debt.

"Representatives of Centerbridge and Oaktree flew out from the US on Tuesday, but Billabong refused to meet them before announcing the Altamont deal," the source told The Australian.

"Centerbridge and Oaktree are very credible, interested parties, and to not even have a discussion with them when they've flown in from the US was astonishing."

The Australian reports Billabong chairman Ian Pollard rejects the claims by the hedge funds.

On Tuesday, US private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners took effective control of Billabong by taking over the company's debt and ousting its chief executive Launa Inman.

Altamont's two founding partners will join Billabong's board under the deal, which will see 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. 

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