Sleep Country Canada Said to Seek C$100 Million in IPO

Sleep Country Canada Co-Founder Christine Magee
Sleep Country Canada Co-Founder Christine Magee poses in her Toronto warehouse. Photographer: Simon Hayter/Toronto Star

Sleep Country Canada, the nation’s largest mattress retailer, is looking to return to equity markets through an initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

Sleep Country, a former income trust that was taken over in 2008 by Toronto-based firms Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. and Westerkirk Capital Inc., plans to raise at least C$100 million ($81 million) in a Canadian IPO, said the people who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Sleep Country operates 170 corporate-owned stores across the country, according to the company website. Founded by Stephen Gunn, Christine Magee and Gord Lownds in Vancouver in 1994, the company began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2003 following a C$135.2 million IPO. Its radio jingle, “Why buy a mattress anywhere else?” is familiar to many Canadians.

Birch Hill, a private equity firm, and Westerkirk Capital agreed to buy Sleep Country Canada Income Fund for C$356 million including debt in August 2008. Westerkirk Capital is the family office of Sherry Brydson, Canada’s richest woman and one of the members of the Thomson family.

Bernadette Kennedy, spokeswoman for Birch Hill Equity Partners, declined to comment. Westerkirk didn’t return requests for comment. Sleep Country Canada spokeswoman Laura Baker didn’t return a call before business hours.

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