The Competition Commission has approved, with conditions, the acquisition of Australian surf-wear retailer Billabong by global apparel business Boardriders, formerly known as Quiksilver. But commissioner Sipho Ngwema said on Wednesday the merging parties had claimed confidentiality, restricting the commission from releasing the value of the merger. According to reports, Billabong first agreed to a A$197.7m ($155m) buyout from its top shareholder and major lender, Oaktree Capital Management, in January. Oaktree is a major shareholder in Boardriders, which together with its subsidiaries designs and distributes branded apparel, footwear and accessories. Billabong operates in over 100 countries, including SA, and the merger will enable Boardriders to add brands such as Billabong, RVCA, Element and Xcel to its stable, which already boasts the Quiksilver, DC Shoes and Roxy brands. Global brands "Both companies have strong global brands and Billabong has a good following in SA. Merging sho...

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