Make us your home page

Masonite struggles to avoid bankruptcy

Masonite International Corp., the Canadian doormaker that runs its international headquarters out of Tampa, is in a tough fight to stay out of bankruptcy.

Masonite has violated loan covenants and has until Nov. 13 to come to new financial terms with lenders. That coincides with the end of a 30-day grace period on a recent bond default.

Masonite spokesman Michael Freitag said the company plans to stay in business regardless of the outcome of negotiations. "Fortunately, the actions we have already taken to reduce costs and strengthen our operations have positioned us well to weather the current economic environment," he said in a statement.

A week ago, Masonite missed a $42-million interest payment of subordinated notes that were due. Earlier, the doormaker breached loan covenants that dealt with how much debt it could carry in its second quarter.

S&P and Moody's have both lowered their corporate ratings on Masonite, which is owned by corporate buyout titan Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co.

Trade reports suggest KKR is in a tricky negotiating status. As an owner it wouldn't want to squeeze the firm too hard for payments. But an arm of KKR also reportedly holds 5 percent of Masonite's debt, and fellow creditors could pressure the company to go into bankruptcy.

KKR bought Masonite for $1.9-billion in 2004, before a severe real estate downturn rippled through the home furnishing and home repair industry. The company has shrunk from a high of 15,000 employees worldwide in 2006 to about 9,700 now.

Between 90 and 95 of those workers are in the Tampa international headquarters, which oversees operations in Europe, the Middle East and a joint venture in Africa. Another 30 work in a facility north of Tampa International Airport assembling door displays for customer showrooms and retailers like Home Depot and Lowe's.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at or (727) 893-8242.

Masonite struggles to avoid bankruptcy 10/24/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Foundation Partners buys Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home


    ST. PETERSBURG — Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.

    Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation


    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  4. Florida ranks high for workplace equality between men and women

    Working Life

    When it comes to the workplace, Florida ranks fifth in terms of gender equality, a WalletHub study released Tuesday found.

    Florida ranks high in terms of equality between men and women in the workplace. Pictured is Sandra Murman, county commissioner in 2015, talking about the differences in pay between men and women. | [Times file photo]
  5. Treasury secretary's wife boasts of travel on government plane, touts high fashion


    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, boasted of flying on a government plane with her husband to Kentucky on Monday and then named the numerous fashion brands she wore on the trip in an unusual social media post that only became more bizarre minutes later.

    Steven Mnuchin and his then- financee Louise Linton watch as President Donald Trump speaks during Mnuchin's swearing-in ceremony as  treasury secretary in the Oval Office of the White House on Feb. 13. [Mandel Ngan | AFP via Getty Images]