Oaktree and Centerbridge triumph against the odds

Billabong’s board was slowly convinced the two US distressed debt funds had the best numbers, and the winning nominee CEO.

Two weeks ago Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners LP quietly told Billabong International Ltd. they had found a chief executive who could turn around the surf-wear retailer, even after it made a $859.5 million annual loss.

The Billabong board's attitude toward the hostile bid from the two US distressed-debt funds changed after they heard the name of the proposed CEO: Neil Fiske.

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