MAAX BUYS YET ANOTHER FIRM

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TORONTO — Plastic bathware producer Maax Inc. announced a second acquisition plan this month, agreeing to buy privately held Manhattan Products Canada Ltd. of Montreal.

Placide Poulin, Maax president and chief executive officer, said his firm will expand its plastic bathware line to include hot tubs, spas and acrylic fixtures made by Manhattan Products' Acryx Industries Division of Beamsville, Ontario. Manhattan Products makes wood and plastic medicine cabinets and aluminum and glass shower doors in Montreal.

Maax predicted in a Jan. 21 news release that Manhattan's sales will reach C$29 million (US$21.6 million) this year. It employs more than 200 and has total plant area of 166,000 square feet. The firm has distribution centers in Concord, Ontario; Berlin, N.J.; and Delray Beach, Fla. Poulin said it is profitable. Stanley Hyman and Marvin Rohr, respectively president and secretary treasurer of Manhattan products, will continue to manage the business.

Officials did not disclose precise terms of the deal. Poulin said about two-thirds of the payment will be 660,000 Maax shares, which traded Jan. 21 at C$19 (US$14.16) per share on the Toronto Stock Exchange Jan. 21. The balance will be paid in cash and in notes due in three years.

Poulin said in a telephone interview that he plans to expand Manhattan Products' manufacturing capacity after the deal is closed Feb. 28.

Poulin expects Manhattan Products to boost his firm's U.S. sales because of strong demand for spas and hot tubs. About two weeks earlier Maax said it would expand its U.S. production base by acquiring Bremen Glas Inc., a producer of glass-fiber-reinforced polyester and ABS bathware products in Bremen, Ind.

He predicted that the two deals will boost his firm's sales to more than C$175 million (US$130.4 million) for its fiscal year beginning March 1.