Mitt Romney's ex-firm likely Billabong suitor
Billabong shares were down the tubes. Photo: Getty Images
Bain Capital, the venture capital firm set up by US presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is speculated to be the anonymous second bidder for struggling surfwear company Billabong.
It is believed that Craig Boyce and Matthew Miller are the two representatives from Bain who lobbed an “indicative, non-binding and conditional proposal” at a similar price to TPG's proposal, as announced to the stock market this morning.
It is surprising that Billabong agreed to sign a confidentiality agreement to keep Bain's name out of the press given the shenanigans that went on at David Jones a few weeks ago when a bogus takeover offer was made for the company.
Under normal circumstances a proposal at such a preliminary stage doesn't require a company to divulge the identity of the interested party, but these circumstances aren't normal.
Billabong is currently subject to a takeover offer from TPG, subject to due diligence, and so a second bidder will automatically be taken seriously. For this reason, the market needs to be properly informed about whether it is a serious contender or not.
The company began trade after a delay today and not surprisingly rocketed higher as investors welcomed a potential rival offer for the company. In recently trading the shares were up 8 per cent to $1.37, not too far off the $1.45 preliminary proposed offer by TPG and Bain.
It will be interesting to see how TPG handles the announcement of a second interested party given it took it three and a half weeks before it got approval to do due diligence at Billabong.