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Billabong ousts chief exec Launa Inma in refinancing deal

Australian surfwear brand Billabong has ousted chief executive Launa Inman, as part of a refinancing deal led by private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners.

Former Oakley and Nike executive Scott Olivet has been appointed to replace Inman as a condition of the deal. Altamont Capital Partners co-founders and managing directors Jesse Rogers and Keoni Schwartz have also secured positions on the Billabong board.  

Inman had been in the role for just 14 months and had presented her strategy for womenswear to the US market only last week.

In a statement, Billabong chairman Ian Pollard said: “The board believes that the Altamont Consortium’s refinancing, and the changes being announced today, provide the company with a stable platform and the necessary working capital to continue to address the challenges it faces.

We had highlighted the company’s debt issues previously and it was imperative to deliver a refinancing that retained an opportunity for shareholders to participate in the future of the company.”

The Altamont Consortium, led by Altamont Capital Partners has agreed to provide a $325m AUD (£198m) bridge loan facility in exchange for 15% of the company. The deal also includes the sale of the DaKine brand to Altamont for $70m AUD (£42.7m). The proceeds will be used to fully repay Billabong’s syndicated debt facilities.

Sales of the brand have suffered during the economic downturn, and a record high Australian dollar.

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