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Spring Air Canada not impacted by impending closure of U.S. counterpart PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael J. Knell   
TORONTO - Canadian bedding major Spring Air Canada/Sommex International will not be affected by the impending closure of Spring Air in the United States. Neither will its other remaining Canadian licensee, which serves most of Western Canada.

Media reports in the U.S. say that the Tampa, Florida-based Spring Air could cease operations as soon as the end of this week after a management-led buyout attempt failed.

Spring Air/Sommex president Les Channel said Spring Air's intellectual property rights are held in a separate, bankruptcy-proof company and remaining licensee's rights to the brand will not be broken should Spring Air itself go out of business. There are also three remaining independent Spring Air licensees in the United States.

"We're owned privately, so we're not affected by what's happening," he said.

The corporate Spring Air entity operated nine factories throughout the United States and all but two have been closed and the fate of the remaining two is unknown. It is owned by American Capital, a Bethesda, Maryland-based investment bank which invested $160 million in Spring Air two years ago. Like most other U.S. investment firms, American Capital has been losing money in recent quarters as the recession deepens south of the border.

Channel said he has advised all Spring Air/Sommex suppliers and retail customers that the company, which has factories in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto and Trois Rivières, is fully operational and conducting business as usual.

"Actually, we're on fire," Channel told HGO. "We had a record year last year and we're doing quite well so far this year."

Aside from sharing the brand, Channel said his company's involvement with the U.S. corporate Spring Air is minimal. "The only thing we really use in the U.S. is the Las Vegas showroom," he said.

Product development is also done in Canada. "We've been developing our own product for the past five years," Channel said.

The Spring Air license for covering British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan is owned by Restwell Mattress, which operates it factory in Vancouver suburb of Surrey, British Columbia.

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