Troubled surf clothing retailer Billabong may become the centre of bidding battle after it received another takeover bid, matching an offer in July from private equity group TPG.
The company said in a filing to the ASX today that it received "an indicative, non-binding and conditional proposal from another party interested in acquiring all of the shares in the company."
It did not name the suitor. Bain Capital and KKR are reportedly among possible bidders.
The bid is for "around $1.45" cash per share, equal to the TPG offer of about $695 million, which Billabong said it undervalued the company.Shares in Billabong closed 2 cents, or 1.5 per cent lower, at $1.27 in trade yesterday.
Billabong today said it will take several weeks to evaluate the proposal.
"The board does not intend to make any further announcements unless and until a recommended offer is secured, or unless there is a development which it considers requires disclosure."
The company announced a loss of $275.6 million in the year to June and said it would close 82 stores as part of an ambitious turnaround strategy to counter a slump in sales in Australia and weak growth overseas.
Since TPG's first approach in February, Billabong has sold half its of watch brand Nixon, issued a profit warning, hired a new chief executive and raised $225 million in equity to reduce debt.
TPG had offered $3.30 per share in February but Billabong rejected it, saying it did not reflect the company's underlying value.
Among the possible suitors is Bain Capital, the private equity group founded by US Republican presidental nominee Mitt Romney, which has a history of participating in complex turnaround deals.
Shares in Billabong has been pummelled in recent years as sales stall and business volumes withe. As recently as October 2010 stock in the company was trading at $7.16.
The share slide helped trigger shake-ups in the board, with ex-Target executive Launa Inman brought in to replace Derek O'Neill as managing director and chief executive officer in May.
Ms Inman has initiated a slew of cost-cutting measures at the company, including a lopping of the brands it produces.
BusinessDay with Reuters