Daily News: October 31, 2012

Crystal Financial Provides Loan for Kraus Group Sale


Crystal Financial announced it has provided a C$40 million loan facility, in the form of senior secured debt, to Red Ash Capital, a company associated with Hilco UK Limited to facilitate the acquisition of The Kraus Group of Companies.

Based in Waterloo, Ontario, The Kraus Group of Companies is a vertically integrated manufacturer of premium carpet for the commercial and residential markets and a distributor of flooring products in North America and Australia. The business has a 25-acre manufacturing facility in Waterloo, and factories in Dalton, Georgia and Brisbane, Australia, together with a further seven distribution centers across North America. The business employs approximately 1,000 people.

“The overarching goal of the financial structure we put into place was to provide the company with the necessary liquidity to engineer the revitalization of The Kraus Group of Companies,” noted Michael Pizette, senior managing director and chief credit officer with Crystal Financial. “It was a multifaceted transaction with both process and geographic intricacies that truly required high-level strategic thinking.”

“The transaction had the added complication of needing to close in a very short timeframe,” added Pizette. “We were able work through an extensive amount of due diligence to underwrite the financing in a three-week time period. We are proud to have played a role in supporting the firm.”

“There are very few financial partners who could have navigated this turnaround and the unusual aspects of a transaction of this complexity,” said Chris Emmott, investment director at Hilco UK Limited. “The Crystal team was very thoughtful and worked diligently to get past the numerous challenges we faced in structuring this deal. We look forward to partnering with them again in the near future.”

Crystal Financial is an independent commercial finance company that provides senior and junior secured loans for both asset-based and cash-flow financings (minimum of $10 million in fundings) to middle-market companies.