Shareholders for Canadian action sports retailer West 49 voted almost unanimously today to approve Billabong’s $99-million takeover bid, according to a story posted by the Toronto Star. In its original announcement, Billabong indicated that it planed to keep key West 49 management in place, including West 49 president and CEO Sam Baio. The deal will help expand Billabong's Canadian presence through West 49's 138 primarily mall-based shops. Billabong, which currently operates more than 300 stores globally, has grown through such high profile acquisitions as Sector 9, Dakine, Quiet Flight, and most recently RVCA and Australian-based retailer Rush.
The path was cleared for the vote after potential rival bidder, American retailer Zumiez backed off after it wasn’t able to agree with West 49 on a due diligence process, which would have provided the U.S. company with an inside look at the firm’s business information.
Billabong has forged a working relationship with West 49 executives over the years, with the Canadian retailer operating five licensed stores under the Billabong name, while many of its other locations sold branded products.
Billabong has grown rapidly in recent years through “tuck-in” acquisitions and now operates more than 300 stores across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The West 49 transaction will add 138 mall-based stores and boost the Australian company’s bottom line in 2011.