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Biz: Billabong’s massive debt problem!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Have you ever wanted to rule the stockmarket, buying while others flee? Here's your chance!

Three years ago, the US hedge funds Oaktree (and Centerbridge Partners) threw troubled surf co Billabong a lifeline with a $A386 million debt and equity package.

Billabong wore a $A265 million loan and the hedge funds took 38 percent of the company.

A couple of years later Quiksilver got, essentially, the same deal except Oaktree, using the the miracle of Chapter 11  to shrink Quik’s debt from almost a billion dollars to three hundred mill, privatised the iconic brand.

Did you ever think, during those glory days of Kelly Slater winning world title after world title, the Indies Trader mapping reefs around the world, Dane Reynolds hand-drawing mountain logos on his board and Craig Anderson inflating his little hams with Quiksilver denim, and Billabong churning out millionaires by the score in the once-depressed seaside town of Burleigh Heads, that the companies would, one day, be owned by multi-billion dollar American financiers?s

Anyway, as reported by the Australian Financial Review a few days ago and pointed out by an alert reader (GBP), the deal is coming back to haunt Billabong.

See, Oaktree and Centerbridge’s loan to Billabong comes with an 11.9 percent interest rate. Costs ’em thirty mill a year to service.

A few months ago, Billabong sold its profitable girl’s label Tiger Lily for sixty-mill to help bring down the massive debt.

Recently, shares hit a four-year low valuing the company at $145 million.

Of course, canny investors know to buy when others flee and to sell when the crowd flocks.

Is now the time to buy?

 

Breaking: The Inertia dumps Sunny story!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Gone! Without trace!

 

If you swung by The Inertia  this morning, you saw that the voice of the thinking surfer™ decided early Sunday would be a wonderful time to post a photoshopped image of Sunny Garcia in a decrepit prison under the titillating ‘Pop quiz, hot shot: Which surfer tried to sell $500,000 worth of heroin to an undercover cop? Hint: NOT Sunny Garcia.’ which linked to a story titled 5 Surfers Who Have Gotten in Serious Trouble With the Law.

The five surfers were Sunny Garcia, Miki Dora, Chris Ward, Rick Rasmussen and Mitch Coleborn and the piece detailed their various travails while also calling the World Surf League’s commissioner Jessi-Miley Dyer and Jack Freestone boring.

It was truly odd. Not attached to any current event or… anything at all. And I have no idea what the connection between the five surfers is, why they were chosen and why Sunday morning was the time to highlight their past indiscretions but what do you expect from the website that also brings you such hits as What Traveling with Surfing Entrepreneurs Taught me about Business and Friendships and This Girl Belly-Flopped an 83-Foot Cliff and Ended up in the Hospital.

In any case, Sunny Garcia took umbrage at the tone of the piece, informing The Inertia via Facebook “I’m sure you won’t like the talk we are going to have over this.”

And then, miracle of miracles, The Inertia disappeared both the Facebook post and the story.

Gone! Without a trace!

Hallelujah! The prisoners were set free!

Oh The Inertia… oh hapless, doddering The Inertia. Thank you for your benevolence. Your open hands and open hearts.

Miracles really do happen.

They really really do, don’t they Zach Weisberg.

Sunny to The Inertia: “Fuck you guys!”

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

Venice-adjacent website puts Sunny Garcia in a photoshopped jail!

Sometimes haplessness is an endearing trait, don’t you think? Like when your can’t-get-anything-right-uncle crashes his mom’s minivan and loses his job selling Van Life magazine door to door. Or when he tells everyone that what surfing needs is a “definitive online community” with a straight face.

Or when he decides to join Tinder.

Oh its hilarious but also heart-warming. He just can’t get anything right!

And ain’t Venice-adjacent’s The Inertia just like this uncle? The very definition of “hapless” and in its own way so lovable.

Today’s episode is titled, “We decided to superimpose Sunny Garcia’s face into a shitty prison picture underneath the caption: ‘Pop quiz, hot shot: Which surfer tried to sell $500,000 worth of heroin to an undercover cop? Hint: NOT Sunny Garcia.’ on Facebook that linked to a story titled 5 Surfers Who’ve Gotten in Serious Trouble With the Law that included Sunny Garcia while somehow also making fun of WSL women’s commissioner Jessi-Miley-Dyer.”

There have been, of course, many surfers in history who have fallen afoul of the law. I have no idea what the five chosen by The Inertia (Sunny Garcia, Miki Dora, Chris Ward, Rick Rasmussen and Mitch Coleborn) have in common, how their various brushes with the police relate to each other or why they were picked but why does the hapless uncle do anything at all?

We will never know! He so crazy!

And what did Sunny Garcia have to say on Facebook?

Hey The Inertia like how you put my photo next to witch surfer got caught selling Heroin and just wanted to say Fuck you guys I’m sure you won’t like the talk we are going to have over this.

Who, do you think, at The Inertia office will answer the phone when Sunny calls? Do you think Zach Weisberg will or do you think he’ll pass the duty on to an intern or do you think there will be mandatory “NO ANSWERING PHONES ANYBODY! SERIOUSLY GUYS!” taped on the wall all week long?

Stay tuned for next week’s episode of your favorite program tentatively titled “We decided to try an alaia at Venice Beach and accidentally decapitated a small dog whose owner is suing us for negligence. NO ANSWERING PHONES ANYBODY! SERIOUSLY GUYS!”

Watch: A Touching Jack O’neill Tribute!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

And kudos to O'Neill (the company) for this masterpiece!

As every BeachGrit reader should know, Jack O’Neill, founder of the O’Neill wetsuits franchise, died recently.

While sad, the man was 94 years old and had lived an incredible life. There was really nothing left for him to do in this world.

Today I stumbled upon a tribute video for Ol’ Man Jack. While usually touching, the typical tribute video tends to be corny and in that way not-very-Beachgrit. This one is different.

And, wow — right? O’Neill (the company) put some serious thought, effort, and probably money into this seven-minute spectacle. I found it informative and engaging. Would even watch it again.

I admittedly knew very little about Jack before watching this clip, but it inspired me to do further research on the man.

Where, you ask?

The only place with historically salient information on every prominent surf figure not named Reno Abellira. Matt Warshaw’s Encyclopedia of Surfing!

My favorite stanza: [O’Neill] never brought attention to himself, and on the rare event when he spoke to the surf press he modestly attributed his success to little more than good timing. Industry insiders, however, regard O’Neill as perhaps the coolest and shrewdest surf businessman alive—the “rubber baron,” as surf journalist Ben Marcus later called him.

Read the rest here (for a measly $3 fee)!

Or just watch the video and bask in the wonderful life Jack O’Neill.

Breaking: Stab fat shames Jordy Smith!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

The SurfStitch property reaches new lows! Or highs!

I am offended. I am offended on behalf of Jordy Smith for the unnecessary, unprovoked and untrue fat shaming he has been receiving at the hands of the World Surf League and now SurfStitch property Stab magazine. (Do I sound like Gloria Allred?)

I am offended that the future world champion must continue to run this gauntlet of innuendo and outright defamation as it relates to his size.

I am offended.

And let us look at the most recent Stab posting from surfing’s poet laureate Morgan Williamson. He writes in the mysteriously titled These Are The Most Significant Things In Surfing RN:

With a swish of the door, all 6’3 of him booms into the building. He’s in a triple XL t-shirt, because, “They shrink down to double X after one wash.” His elastic waistband cords are cut at his kneecaps and he’s wearing Brand Black slides with socks.

A swish? Booms? Triple XL t-shirt? Elastic waistband? Slides with socks?

Let’s read it again from the top.

With a swish of the door, all 6’3 of him booms into the building. He’s in a triple XL t-shirt, because, “They shrink down to double X after one wash.” His elastic waistband cords are cut at his kneecaps and he’s wearing Brand Black slides with socks.

Jordy Smith has, at the very least, a bullying case against Stab. He might even have a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit. (Hey Jordy… Let’s call Gloria Allred!)

Later in the work, Morgan Williamson brings up the WSL and pay-per-view. He records Jordy saying:

20 bucks is as much as a coffee and a bagel these days. And, people are buying that like three times a day.

?????????

That sounds like an XL pizza and pitcher of beer to me but nobody buys that three times a day.

And what the hell does RN stand for?

Rotund Nates?

Round Nodes?

Enough, Stab! ENOUGH!

Have you never heard the axiom regarding those who live in glass houses?

Surfing's poet laureate seen drinking a calorie rich beer and throwing a peace sign.

Surfing’s poet laureate seen drinking a calorie rich beer and throwing a peace sign.

Enough.

We are all beautiful in our own way even if our hairlines are receding professionally. Even if our breasts are as soft as jelly donuts.

It is time to stop the madness and let freedom ring. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made etc.