UPDATED: Billabong Suspends Securities From Trading Pending Purchase Negotiations

Billabong requested today the suspension of securities from trading pending an announcement with regard to purchase negotiations, which were initially announced January 14, 2013.

According to a letter from Billabong International submitted today to the ASX Compliance Exchange Centre:

“The Company requests that the suspension remain in place until such time as the Company is able to make an announcement in relation to such negotiations.

The Company is not aware of any reason why the voluntary suspension should not be granted, nor of any other information necessary to inform the market about the voluntary suspension.”

Billabong reported Tuesday that shares had been placed in a trading halt until Thursday, April 4, or until the company was able to release an announcement about negotiations with two bidders regarding discussions to purchase the company.

Billabong issued another trading halt on March 21 and had expected the purchase negotiations to be wrapped up by the end of March.

Billabong is in discussions with two groups including one led by fomer Billabong Americas President Paul Naude who partnered with Sycamore on a $1.10/share bid at the end of last year. The other suitor is a consortium made up of VF Corp and Altamont Capital Partners, who matched Naude’s group’s bid.

Analysts believe the bids have been substantially reduced following due diligence which led several other suitors to rescind their bids.

According to World News Australia: IG Markets market strategist Stan Shamu said there was speculation that the takeover bids for Billabong would be lowered: “The price action (the Billabong share price) has been suggesting that for a while,” Mr Shamu said.

Mr Shamu said the bid price for Billabong could be lowered to around 80 cents per share, which was still positive given that Billabong last traded at 73 cents.