January 26, 2009 / 9:00 PM / 10 years ago

Quiksilver stock soars on deal speculation

BANGALORE, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Shares of Quiksilver Inc ZQK.N rose as much as 72 percent Monday after a report suggested that the apparel maker is planning to sell its DC Shoes brand to VF Corp (VFC.N) and may even be weighing a sale of the entire company to Nike Inc (NKE.N).

On Friday, industry journal Women’s Wear Daily said that a deal for DC Shoes may be just a few weeks away and that Nike’s interest in Quiksilver is contingent on the company selling the brand.

Quiksilver, which sells surfing inspired apparel, did not return calls seeking comment.

“The shares are up based on speculation that Quiksilver could sell either one of its brands or sell itself outright,” Keybanc Capital Markets analyst Brandon Ferro said by phone.

But the analyst thought either transaction unlikely.

“I think if you rewind to November-December of 2008, it might…have been more likely than it is now,” he said, suggesting that some significant near-term liquidity concerns that affected the company then have since abated.

However, Todd Slater, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets found a deal viable.

“Quiksilver is trading at a depressed valuation and we see a high likelihood of a transaction,” Slater said in a note to clients.

Last week, VF said it would create an action-sports division containing complementary brands like Vans and Reef, and this could be a precursor to the deal, he said.

The DC brand accounts for about 20 percent of Quiksilver’s sales, Slater said, but “selling the segment makes sense for shareholders if it clears the way for a takeover”.

Both VF Corp and Nike said they would not comment on rumor.

Quiksilver shares were trading up 45 percent at $2.19 late Monday afternoon on the New York Stock Exchange. (Additional reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Anthony Kurian)

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