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Surfing Brand Quiksilver Files For Chapter 11 Protection

Quiksilver, the clothing company that has sold surfing gear since 1969, is seeking relief from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. The filing is for the company's American division; it comes on the day Quiksilver had been scheduled to discuss its third-quarter financial results.

The maker of sporting apparel and gear postponed that conference call, instead announcing that it had entered into a plan to reduce its debt by more than $500 million.

Quiksilver says it will continue to operate its business, and that the move is designed to restore it to financial health. The company also says its units in Europe and Asia are doing well and aren't part of the filing.

"Our fresh capital structure, with a very low level of debt for our industry, will enable us to invest in and reinvigorate our brands and products," says company CEO Pierre Agnes. "We are confident we will emerge a stronger business, better positioned to grow and prosper into the future."

Agnes called the move "difficult but necessary."

The bankruptcy filing comes a decade after Quiksilver made large acquisitions, buying DC Shoes in 2003 and Rossignol in 2005.

"Shares have plunged almost 80 percent this year as the company wrestled with both shipping and accounting issues," the AP reports. "It was forced to delay its first-quarter earnings report in March due to a 'revenue cut-off issue,' and CEO Andy Mooney left the company that same month."

A list of "firsts" at the company's website notes that it was the first "boardriding company to break through a billion in sales, with revenue of $1.3 billion in 2004."

The company was founded in Australia but is now based in California.

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