Carlyle’s Zodiac Pool Seeks Creditor Protection in U.S.

Zodiac Pool Solutions SAS, a supplier of swimming pool products controlled by asset manager Carlyle Group LP (CG), filed for U.S. bankruptcy court protection seeking recognition of U.K. court proceedings on its debts.

The company listed assets of as much as $1 billion and debt of more than $1 billion in Chapter 15 documents filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware. Chapter 15 allows a bankruptcy court to protect the U.S. assets of foreign companies that are restructuring or liquidating abroad, as well as help organize creditors and enforce rulings from foreign proceedings.

Under a U.K. “scheme of arrangement,” the company will make a 145 million-euro ($194 million) payment and some debt maturities will be amended and extended. Zodiac’s creditors “voted substantially in favor” of the U.K. plan, according to U.S. court papers.

Zodiac filed under Chapter 15 so the “debt amendments are binding in the U.S.,” Dan Guyder, a lawyer for the company, said in an e-mailed statement. Zodiac will “resume the strong earnings growth the company has seen in the last year,” he added.

Decreased Demand

The company said in court filings that it was hurt by decreased demand for its products after sales peaked in 2007, a situation made worse by the 2008 recession.

Zodiac was formed when Carlyle and Zodiac Aerospace SA (ZC) acquired WaterPik Technologies Inc. in 2006, according to court documents. Zodiac Aerospace sold its stake in the business to Carlyle in 2009, two years after contributing its marine assets to the company.

Carlyle, the world’s second-largest manager of investment alternatives to stocks and bonds, sold off other businesses between 2008 and 2013, including WaterPik last year. Since then, Zodiac has focused exclusively on the swimming pool supply business.

The case is In re Zodiac Pool Solutions SAS, 14-11818, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Bathon in Wilmington at mbathon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net Peter Blumberg

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