Bathware producer Maax Inc. of Ste. Marie de Beauce, Quebec, has agreed to buy another firm in western North America. Maax announced Aug. 18 a deal in principle to purchase Hydro Swirl Manufacturing Corp. of Bellingham, Wash., for US$5.3 million.
Hydro Swirl, with 1994 sales of US$7 million, makes high-end bathtubs and whirlpools, according to Marie-France Poulin, the company's vice president of marketing.
Maax announced in late June an agreement to buy Valley Fibrebath Inc. of Armstrong, British Columbia, to boost its presence in western Canada and the United States. It agreed to pay C$11 million (US$8.1 million) for Valley Fibrebath, a C$21 million (US$15.5 million) per-year bathware manufacturer. In addition to Armstrong, Valley Fibrebath has plants in Airdrie, Alberta, and Monroe, Wash.
Maax has had only a small presence in western Canada and has not been active in U.S. West Coast markets, according to Poulin. She expects the Hydro Swirl purchase to help Maax increase exports to the Pacific Rim, now supplied from its Ste. Marie de Beauce plant. Hydro Swirl sells about 5 percent of its output to Japan, Korea and China.
Poulin said her firm anticipates concluding both deals Oct. 15. It did satisfactory due diligence on Valley Fibrebath in early August. The Hydro Swirl deal also is contingent on due diligence.
Maax agreed to pay Hydro Swirl's owner $4 million at closing and $1.3 million a year later.