In the News: May 2008

Delair Files For Bankruptcy

Shapes/Arch Holdings LLC, the parent company of above-ground pool manufacturer Delair Group LLC, filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection March 16 in Camden, N.J., according to court papers.

The company had sales of $274 million last year, down from $322 million in 2006, wiping out most profits. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the company's existing lenders — CIT Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Textron Corp. — agreed to lend it up to $60 million, but the amount was insufficient. Versa Capital Management has agreed to invest up to $25 million in exchange for 80 percent interest during the reorganization, if the court approves the plan, according to the filings.

Shapes/Arch CEO Stephen Grabell told the Inquirer, "It's business as usual. We anticipate having lots of support from our vendors."

New Casual Furniture Group

At its first meeting, Feb. 20, in Las Vegas, the new International Casual Furnishings Association named an executive committee and initiated strategic planning. The new organization's stated mission is to "create the desire for quality outdoor furnishings through industry partnerships." Membership will be open to all key partners within the casual furnishings industry.

The group agreed to host one or more member events at the ICFA Casual PreMarket show in Chicago in July, and/or at the International Casual Furniture and Accessories Market in Chicago in September. The ICFA board agreed it would host the Apollo Awards dinner in September at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Joseph P. Logan serves as the ICFA's executive director. He is based in High Point, N.C.

Tatum Manufacturing Becomes Living Water Spas

Tatum Manufacturing announced that it will combine its three business divisions, Tatum Manufacturing, Gulf Coast Spa Manufacturers and Spa Services, together under a new corporate name, Living Water Spas.

Living Water Spas president Brad Tatum says the new company combines a new manufacturing facility with a well-established spa brand and its 24/7 technical support and warranty-coverage team.

Living Water Spas will continue doing business out of its 5-acre manufacturing facility in Tampa, Fla., retain its sales and marketing office in Clearwater, Fla., and its 24/7 call center in Tampa.

As part of the name change, Living Water Spas will release a new company logo and Web site.

Maytronics To Acquire MG International

Robotic pool-cleaner manufacturer Maytronics announced an agreement to purchase 51 percent of MG International, a French company that manufactures pool alarms, covers and water-treatment technology. The three-phase purchase will be finalized by July 2010.

"This is a highly significant acquisition for Maytronics," says Offer Shahar, CEO. "This acquisition is in keeping with Maytronics' long-range strategic plan to grow through technology, as well as mergers and acquisitions in the pool equipment market."

MG International was founded in 2002 and is made up of four business divisions. It is also involved in drowning detection for commercial pools, water treatment products and safety covers for pools.

Muto Scholarship Applications Due

The Guy and Gloria Muto Scholarship Foundation is again offering scholarships to family members of those employed in the swimming pool and spa industry.

Scholarship applications must be received by May 31, 2008.

Applications and information are available at the organization's Web site,

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