If auditors determine there is no carrying value to a brand, does that mean it is without value?


Billabong International Limited describes their core business as the marketing, distribution, wholesaling and retailing of apparel, accessories, eyewear, wetsuits and hardgoods in the boardsports sector under the Billabong, Element, Von Zipper, Honolua Surf Company, Kustom, Palmers Surf, Xcel, Tigerlily, Sector 9 and RVCA brands.The company has approximately 6,000 employees worldwide, and its shares are publicly listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.  Billabong International's products are licensed and distributed in more than 100 countries and are available in approximately 11,000 doors worldwide. Products are distributed through specialized sports retailers and through the company's own branded retail outlets.  The majority of revenue is generated through wholly-owned operations in Australia, North America, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and Brazil. The Company's brands are marketed and promoted internationally through association with high profile professional athletes, junior athletes and events.

A couple of days ago, their stock finished at $.45 on the Australian exchange. And in their annual report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, they reported a net tangible asset backing per ordinary security $0.11 … presumably allowing for some value of their intangibles.

As alluded to in IAM Magazine, the company has reported an impairment charge that wiped out the residual value of the Billabong brand carried on the books. (They had a large impairment charge the previous year as well.)

The value-in-use calculations were based on a four year business plan projecting forecast profitability and cash flows prepared by management and approved by the Board. A terminal value was calculated for subsequent years referencing the terminal growth rates.

Billabong-branded products are still being sold, related websites are up and running (see example), and the name of the holding company is Billabong. What this means in accounting-speak is that the company has determined that from this point forward it will generate $0 in recovery of the Billabong brand. If there is no carrying value to a brand, does that mean it is without value? As there must be ongoing costs associated with the brand, would they be willing to give it away...then perhaps license it back to satisfy current uses?  Of course, is if the answer is yes, then a relief-from-royalty perspective would assign the brand a value, one presumably different from what the auditors have decided.


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