Source: The Courier-Mail
BILLABONG is donning a teeny bikini with a deal to buy the Tigerlily swimwear brand from James Packer's ex-wife Jodhi Meares.
Billabong didn't disclose the purchase price but said the label would boost earnings per share in the first year of ownership, contributing less than 1 per cent of total revenue. That would equate to about $12 million in Tigerlily sales.
Ms Meares, the former swimwear model and label founder, said she would remain involved with Tigerlily in a creative capacity. She said the sale to Gold Coast-based Billabong would provide the operational muscle to fast-track Tigerlily's domestic growth.
"I'm drawn to the fact that (Billabong) is a company built around a lifestyle. It is a philosophy I've been mindful of in the growth of Tigerlily so it's an entirely appropriate fit," said Ms Meares.
Billabong chief executive Derek O'Neill said Tigerlily represented Billabong's first acquisition focusing exclusively on the girls beach apparel market.
He said the company had been seeking to expand its girls product offering and Tigerlily, with its accent on swimwear, is "very complementary" to the Billabong Girls brand.
"We plan to retain its immediate focus on the Australian market and, over time, we will explore opportunities in other territories," Mr O'Neill said.
Tigerlily is known for its teeny bikinis but is also producing dresses and dressy shorts for beachside fashion.
Billabong shares yesterday edged up 3¢ to close at $14.73.
Gains were likely curbed after Goldman Sachs JBWere analysts cut their Billabong stock rating to "hold" from "buy", pointing to the rising risk of recession in the US, a key Billabong market.