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Billabong takeover proceeds to next step

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AAP

2012-12-24

Troubled surfwear retailer Billabong will allow its latest suitor, former board member Paul Naude, to conduct due diligence on the company.

The former Billabong director and president of its American business has made a $527 million takeover offer for the retailer, as part of a consortium which includes New-York based private equity group Sycamore Partners and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Billabong on Monday said its board had reviewed Mr Naude's proposal and decided to allow his consortium to conduct due diligence to examine Billabong's operations and finances.

The due diligence process is expected to take up to six weeks.

"The board of Billabong reiterates that there is no guarantee that, following a period of due diligence by the consortium, an acceptable binding proposal will be forthcoming," Billabong said in a statement.

It is the fifth takeover offer made for Billabong in 2012, and the lowest.

Billabong's share price has plummeted during 2012 as its revenues slumped and as the company rejected takeover offers from private equity groups.

Its shares were two cents higher at 84.5 cents at 1005 AEDT, but still well below Mr Naude's takeover offer price of $1.10 per share.