By Aimee Chanthadavong

Billabong’s discussions with each of the Altamont Capital Partners and Sycamore Partners regarding a debt refinancing deal have finally concluded but that has also meant Launa Inman’s role as CEO of the company has been short-lived.

The deal will see the US fund Altamont and its credit arm Blackstone Group take full control as part of a $325 million bridging debt facility agreement, with $70 million to be raised through the sale of the DaKine adventure sports accessories brand to Altamont. This will see a total value of $395 million to be used immediately to repay Billabong’s $289 million syndicated debt facility in full. This deal will also provide $106 million cash for working capital to keep business operations going.

As part of this bridging loan and five-year debt facility, Billabong has agreed to pay 12 per cent interest to Altamont.

“The Board believes that the Altamont Capital’s refinancing, and the changes being announced today, provide the company with a stable platform and the necessary working capital to continue to address the challenges it faces. We had highlighted the company’s debt issues previously and it was imperative to deliver a refinancing that retained an opportunity for shareholders to participate in the future of the company. The Altamont Consortium presented the best available, certain and executable opportunity in these challenging circumstances,” Billabong chairman Ian Pollard said.

As part of the deal, company CEO Launa Inman, who has only been in the role for 14 months, will be replaced by Scott Olivet, the former chairman and CEO of Oakley and previously served as the vice president of Nike subsidiaries, including Converse and Hurley.

“The Board wishes to thank Launa for her contributions to the company and her resilience during the most difficult period of the company’s history,” Pollard said. “She has shown foresight and direction in the creation and the transformation strategy which has already begun to show some encouraging signs particularly in the USA.”

To also reflect Altamont’s investment into the company, Jesse Rogers and Keoni Schwartz from Altamont will be appointed as additional directors by the Board at the next annual general meeting.