Billabong International Limited is a surf company, primarily a clothing retailer that also produces accessories, like watches and backpacks and skateboard and snowboard products under other brand-names. Founded in 1973 by Gordon and Rena Merchant, the company first traded on the Australian Securities Exchange on 11 August 2000. The name "billabong" is derived from the Wiradjuri word "bilabaŋ" that refers to a "creek that runs only during the rainy season". As of September 2013, Von Zipper, and Element are two of the prominent brands that Billabong owns. Honolua Surf Company, Kustom, Palmers Surf, Xcel, Tigerlily, Sector 9 and RVCA are the company's other brands.From late 2012 onwards, following the company's collapse in the period since 2008, Billabong International has been the subject of a protracted bidding process in which the company's former United States chief Paul Naude has been a participant.HistoryEarly HistoryBillabong was founded in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia in 1973 by Gordon Merchant. At first, he designed and created board shorts at his home and then sold them to local surf shops. Surfers soon realized the durability of Merchant's shorts that was the result of his triple-stitching technique. Merchant understood that his company needed to expand to achieve success, so Billabong started to sponsor contests, which increased the public's awareness of Merchant's products and the company expanded. By the 1980s, Billabong board shorts were present throughout Australia.