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Matthew Smith has been a business and financial journalist for more than a decade. He previously worked with the Financial Times Group, reporting from New York on company buyouts and refinancing in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis. He started his career reporting on the funds management industry in Sydney.

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Billabong share wipe-out after record loss

Published 22 February 2013 11:04, Updated 26 February 2013 13:03

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Billabong share wipe-out after record loss

Shareholders have dumped surfwear maker Billabong following a $537 million loss for the half ending December Photo: Fairfax Media

The share price of troubled surf wear company Billabong went over the falls on Friday after the company announced a record loss.

Billabong says it is continuing discussions with two parties that have made takeover offers. Due diligence is scheduled to conclude at the end of March.

Billabong’s share price tumbled more than 5 per cent to be under 90¢ in early trading on Friday on news of the $537 million net loss in the six months ending December 31. The loss came after the company booked $567 million in charges, including further brand write-downs, during the half.

The $537 million loss in the six months to the end of December compares to a net income of $16.1 million for the same corresponding period a year earlier.

The Gold Coast-based surf wear brand has been stalked by private equity suitors since the start of last year, including United States firms TPG, Bain Capital and most recently, a consortium made up Sycamore Partners and head of Billabong’s America’s operations, Paul Naude.

Late last year Laura Inman, the company’s recently appointed chief executive, announced a turnaround plan for the company that included rolling out new technology systems and a focus on reinvigorating the brand over the next three years.