Thu June 21, 2012 6:11pm
BILLABONG'S financial difficulties will not affect the company's ability to put on the next event on the surfing World Tour, a spokesman said.
The Billabong Pro Tahiti is due to begin on August 16. Being at the famously dangerous wave of Teahupoo, in a remote part of Tahiti, the event is one of the more expensive events on the World Tour, where licensees regular cite costs of $3 million to stage an event.
Billabong today announced a plan to raise $225 million to pay off some of its $325m debt.
There was "no doubt at all” that the event would go ahead, said Billabong spokesman John Mossop. “I don’t’ see any reason why it wouldn’t go ahead. It’s business as usual.”
Billabong also sponsors two of Australia’s top surfers: Joel Parkinson (rated equal second in the world) and Taj Burrow (equal fifth).
The Australian’s John Durie said the company was a “basket case” that investors should avoid. "Surely its days as a listed vehicle are running out," he said.
Association of Surfing Professionals spokesman Dave Prodan said the event was "going ahead as scheduled as far as we've been informed".
Prodan confirmed that the event's remote location presented "logistical challenges that can manifest in a fiduciary manner".
"That said, Tahiti is one of the most revered events by the surfers, fans and media and certainly provides an important return for Billabong in terms of aligning themselves with such an incredible venue."