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Wipe Out: Sinking Quiksilver Seeks Buyer

Surfwear maker Quiksilver is seeking a buyer as it struggles to catch a break in waters dominated by athleisure.

People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the Huntington Beach, California-based company is in talks with potential strategic bidders for a management-led buyout, outside of bankruptcy, that would let it hold onto its retail stores.

The company, which owns Roxy and DC in addition to its namesake brand, reported a net loss of $0.22 per share on $333.01 million in revenue in the second quarter of the fiscal year and posted a net loss of $336 million for the 12 months ended January 31—that’s a big drop from its high in 2005, when it raked in more than $100 million in profit.

Founded in 1969, Quiksilver rode to its peak in the mid-aughts as teens raced to embrace the SoCal aesthetic seen in movies like Blue Crush and on MTV’s “Laguna Beach,” but has floundered in recent years. In July, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) warned the company was at risk of being delisted because of its low stock price.

A corporate shakeup earlier this year saw Quiksilver oust CEO Andy Mooney, replacing him with 27-year company veteran Pierre Agnes, while Thomas Chambolle was named as chief financial officer. Co-founder Bob McKnight succeeded Mooney as chairman.

Sources told Bloomberg that if a strategic buyer can’t be found, Authentic Brands Group could be interested in purchasing the name.

Despite the choppy market, there could still be room for growth there. Rival surfwear brand Billabong, which also found itself in high water after enthusiastically investing in its own retail stores, recently posted its first full-year profit (albeit a small one of $2.95 million) since 2011.