Quiksilver parent to acquire Billabong

BillabongQuiksilver parent Boardriders Inc’s proposal to purchase Billabong International will proceed after shareholders voted in favour of the deal at a scheme of arrangement meeting on Wednesday morning.

85.87 per cent of Billabong’s shareholders voted in favour of the $1.05 share deal, which increased in price from $1 following last minute negotiations between the businesses.

95.45 per cent of votes cast were in favour of the scheme.

Having passed the required 75 per cent hurdle court approvals are now all that stands in the way of Boardriders related entity Oaktree Capital Management acquiring its long term rival.

“The outcome of today is that we will see the creation of one of the world’s strongest action sports companies,” Pollard told reporters on Wednesday.

“I believe the brand will be in good hands following today’s vote.”

A cloud dropped over the deal last week when major shareholders raised doubts over their support for the scheme, with Boardriders leaving the door open to walking away if the price increased.

“There are cheaper and easier options out there,” Boardriders chief executive David Tanner said last week.

But today Boardriders increased the price slightly following several days of campaigning by Billabong chairman Ian Pollard in favour of the deal.

“We are pleased to see that the Billabong shareholders recognised this value, and have approved the proposed acquisition,” Tanner said in the wake of the deal.

“We have now cleared a significant milestone, and we are one step closer to creating the world’s leading action sports company.”

On proxy votes 78.82 per cent or 49.87 million shares (49.87 per cent of all securities) voted in favour of the scheme, while 4.5 per cent or 5.7 million shares (2.88 per cent of all securities) were against.

Proxy votes were lodged before Billabong agreed with Boardriders to increase the price, but Billabong chairman Ian Pollard said it had not changed the outcome

“At the end of the day … that does not change the fact of the outcome,” he said in response to questioning at the scheme meeting.

“But these things all influence perceptions, there are a lot of votes there that are open that may have an influence to which way those go.”

Pending Court approvals Billabong shareholders will be paid for their shares on 24 April.

UPDATED 18:17 AEDT

With AAP

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