Tricap buys Canadian company for C$271m

The private equity unit of Brookfield Asset Management bought Canadian-based Maax from a consortium of private equity firms that took the company private in 2004. Maax filed for bankruptcy in July after collapsing under the weight of its debt load.

Tricap, the private equity unit of publicly-listed asset manager Brookfield Asset Management, has purchased bankrupt Canadian bathroom products manufacturer Maax from a private equity consortium for C$271 million ($258 million; €179 million) plus the assumption of debt.

The consortium that sold Maax was made up of Boston-based JW Childs Associates, Toronto-based Borealis Capital and Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. The group took Maax private in a 2004 deal worth C$640 million.

Maax found itself in “a situation where it was a very good company but it was suffering from too much debt that it couldn’t service”, senior managing partner Bruce Robertson told PEO.

The company struggled under the weight of a heavy debt load, resulting from the leverage in its buyout and a 2005 dividend recapitalisation. The deteriorating economy caused a further drag on Maax's ability to pay off its debt.

Maax defaulted on its senior notes in December 2007. The company went through a sale process in 2008 that resulted in no successful bids, and filed for bankruptcy protection in July.

Tricap specialises in US and Canadian restructurings in industries including: real estate, financial, manufacturing, forest products, metals and mining, energy and power generation. The group targets transactions in which it can invest between $50 million and $500 million in either debt and equity capital.

The group closed its second fund on $1 billion at the end of 2007.

Global asset manager Brookfield has approximately $95 billion of assets under management and focuses on property, power and other infrastructure assets.