Manufacturing News

Billabong sells Canadian retail chain

Surfwear company Billabong will sell its Canadian retail chain West 49 to fashion retailer YM Inc.

Reuters reports that the agreement will see Billabong sell 92 stores across Canada for between $CAD9 million and $CAD11 million ($A9.1 million to $A11.2 million).

Under the deal, Billabong will keep its six Billabong and two Element stores in Canada.

Billabong chief executive officer Neil Fiske said in a statement, “The sale of West 49 is part of our broader strategy of simplifying our business and focusing on the core of what we do best, which is building strong global brands.” 

“The supply agreement we’ve entered into ensures our products will continue to have a strong presence for consumers in that market.”

Billabong has been through hard times in recent years. 

In August, the company posted a $859.5 million loss for last financial year, compared with $282.7 million in the previous year. As a result, Billabong was said to be ‘worthless’.

The company agreed to a refinancing proposal from U.S. hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners in September. And in the same month, it lost the head of its European business Franco Fogliato.

Fogliato quit the company to join US action sports brand Columbia Sportswear as senior vice-president of its European division.

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