Billabong: the Australian was founded in 1973

American investment management firm Oaktree Capital Management announced the full acquisition of the Australian surf company Billabong.

The deal is worth $299m (A$380), and has been officially confirmed by Billabong International Limited. Oaktree already holds 19 percent of the shares in Billabong.

The acquisition is made through Boardriders, the firm owned by Oaktree that controls Quiksilver, Roxy, and DC Shoes. The new combined company gives birth to the world's leading action sports conglomerate with 630 retail stores in 26 countries, and global sales of around $2b.

Boardriders will now welcome brands like RVCA, Element, VonZipper, and Xcel to its portfolio.

"Billabong's brands' great strength is their authenticity and heritage. I'm confident those qualities will not simply be protected but enhanced by a new organization that will have the scale and financial security to continue to support and build," said Neil Fiske, CEO of Billabong.

Gordon Merchant, the co-founder of Billabong who owns 12.8 percent of the shares in Billabong, voted in favor of the business deal.

Meanwhile, Oaktree announced that Dave Tanner, currently Chief Turnaround Officer for Boardriders, will be the new CEO of Boardriders.

"The combination of these two leading action sports companies, which include a broad range of iconic brands with a deep heritage in surf, snow, and skate, is very exciting for all of us who share a passion for outdoor action sports," added Tanner.

"We are committed to preserving the autonomy, creativity, and unique cultures of all the brands while we leverage our best-in-class operating platform to accelerate the growth of the brands globally."

Billabong was founded in 1973 by Gordon and Rena Merchant. After a fast expansion during the 1990s and early 2000s, the Australian surf brand saw sales fall dramatically during the 2008 global financial crisis.

The company accumulated losses and debt and lost traction in the stock market. In 2007, Billabong shares traded at around A$60, but on December 29, 2017, they were selling at A$0.96.

In 2015, the Billabong revenue was of $633m (A$808m), while Quiksilver sales hit $1.35b.

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