Billabong Suspends Trading; VF Corp Back In The Running For Acquisition

Billabong has requested Thursday that trading in its shares be suspended to allow the company to progress discussions with interested parties, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Allegedly, both Sycamore Partners and Billabong’s former Americas head Paul Naude; and VF Corporation VFC -0.64% and Altamont Capital Partners, are still engaged in talks, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. Sycamore Partners’s second period of exclusivity has ended, according to the Wall Street Journal story:

 Its closing price, before the company was halted from trading on Tuesday, was 45.5 cents a share, a 24.2% discount to the 60 cents a share offered by the Sycamore consortiumin April.

Earlier this year, both the Sycamore and Altamont consortia offered A$1.10 a share to gain due diligence.

J.P.Morgan JPM -0.91% analyst Shaun Cousins said in a note to clients on Thursday that challenges to Billabong’s debt position and operations remain “significant”. The retailer’s first-half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fell 31%, and are forecast to decline between 51% and 64% in the full fiscal 2013 year.