Billabong Sheds Tigerlily in $46 million Deal

The swimwear brand will go to Crescent Capital Partners, as Billabong continues to hone its brand portfolio


SYDNEY–Billabong International Ltd. said late Wednesday that it plans to sell Australian swimwear brand Tigerlily for 60 million Australian dollars, or $46 million at current exchange.

The Gold Coast, Queensland-based surfwear company said it has entered into a binding agreement with Sydney private equity firm Crescent Capital Partners for the sale of the 17-year-old brand, which it acquired in December 2007 for $5 million.

The funds will be used to retire debt, in keeping with Billabong’s turnaround strategy to simplify its brand portfolio, the company said.

Launched in 2000 by former model Jodhi Meares — who was at the time the wife of Australian casino mogul James Packer — Tigerlily’s sales for the 12 months ended 2016 were 30 million Australian dollars or $22.3 million at average exchange for the period, Billabong reported.

On a full-year basis, the brand is expected to contribute 7 million to 8 million Australian dollars or $5.3 million to $5.6 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization to Billabong for the 2017 financial year, which ends on June 30, with further details to be provided with Billabong’s half-year results announcement on Feb. 24, the company said.

According to Billabong’s 2016 annual report, Tigerlily achieved 21 percent year-on-year sales growth in Australia and recorded growth in the swimwear category last year.

In December, when speculation first mounted that several smaller Billabong brands were on the block, a Billabong spokesman told WWD there were up to 20 suitors for Tigerlily.

Tigerlily is the latest lifestyle brand acquisition for Crescent Capital Partners, a mostly healthcare-focused private equity firm, which invests in medium-sized Australian and New Zealand companies with enterprise values of between 50 million and 300 million Australian dollars, or $38 million and $230 million, according to its website.

The firm’s 20 active acquisitions include Melbourne-based travel and lifestyle accessories brand Crumpler and Sydney-based mineral makeup brand Nude by Nature.