MONTREAL (AP) -- Bathroom fixture maker Maax Corp., taken private in 2004, is for sale as it struggles under a heavy debt load while its business sags amid the slowdown in U.S. home building.
Maax also has disclosed an extension in a forbearance agreement with its secured lenders, Brookfield Bridge Lending Fund Inc. and HSBC Bank Canada, increasing its revolving credit to $55 million from $25 million.
The Montreal company -- majority owned by Boston private equity firm J.W. Childs Associates, with a minority stake held by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System -- was taken over in June 2004 in a deal valued at $640 million including assumed debt.
Maax, which claims to be the third-largest supplier in the American bathtub and shower fixtures market, said Tuesday it has hired adviser Alvarez & Marsal Securities ''and is pursuing a sales process to market its business in the pursuit of its overall objective of reducing its debt and improving its capital structure and liquidity.''
The debt extension for the 2,300-employee company -- down from 3,800 workers when it went private -- runs to June 12.
''These are significant and positive developments for Maax Corp. and its stakeholders,'' stated CEO Paul Golden, adding that it will ''operate without interruption and deal with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders in the normal course while pursuing its goal. Our goal is to reduce the company's debt and remain a successful North American competitor in a rapidly changing marketplace.''