JW Childs in C$640m going private deal

The Boston firm joins Borealis Capital and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System in the purchase of MAAX, North America’s third largest maker of bathroom fixtures.

A private equity consortium comprising Boston-based JW Childs Associates, Toronto-based Borealis Capital and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has agreed to take bathroom fixtures maker Maax private in a deal worth C$640 million ($485 million; €392.6 million).


According to the press statement, Maax shareholders will receive C$22.50 per common share, and the consortium will indirectly acquire all the issued and outstanding shares, including company debt.


Bloomberg reports that Maax chairman Placide Poulin is looking to retire after starting the company in 1969. Poulin sought cash for the transaction and didn’t want to split Maax.


Maax’s current president and chief executive officer André Héroux will continue to act in this position upon completion of the transaction, which is set for June 2004. Chief financial officer Richard Garneau will retire and be replaced by former Quebecor World vice president Denis Ausbin.


JW Childs Associates specializes in leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations of middle-market growth companies.  Since 1995, the firm has invested in 25 companies with a total transaction value of more than $5.4 billion. Some of these businesses include Snapple Beverage, General Nutrition and Nutrasweet. In July, JW Childs agreed to sell Meow Mix to private equity firm Cypress Group for approximately $430 million.


Borealis Capital is one of Canada’s leading alternative asset managers. The firm currently invests through its C$375 million Borealis Private Equity LP and Borealis (QLP) Private Equity LP fund.


OMERS Merchant Banking Group is the private equity arm of the C$33 billion Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. The firm’s C$1 billion portfolio makes it one of Canada’s largest private equity investors.