Billabong receives competing $555.5 million buyout offers

NEW YORK (AP) -- Australian surfwear maker Billabong International Ltd. says it has received a buyout offer of 526.8 million Australian dollars ($555.5 million) from a U.S. group including VF Corp. that matches a takeover offer it received earlier.

The company says the group, which also includes Altamont Capital Partners, is offering 1.10 Australian dollars per share ($1.16).

The bid is identical to an offer Billabong received from a group including board member Paul Naude, Sycamore Partners Management and Bank of America Merrill Lynch in December.

Billabong is giving both groups the right to conduct due diligence to get a better understanding of its value.

The company is evaluating the offers over an approximately six week period to see if it can secure a bid "at a price and on terms that the board would recommend."

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