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An example of a pre-fabricated home, similar to the products sold by Pro-Fab, is seen in this Feb. 12 2012 file photo (Marketwire)
An example of a pre-fabricated home, similar to the products sold by Pro-Fab, is seen in this Feb. 12 2012 file photo (Marketwire)

Streetwise

Private equity-owned modular home maker goes buying Add to ...

Quebec-based modular-home maker Pro-Fab, which constructs houses off-site and then ships them to a plot of land where they are then attached to a foundation, is ready to conquer its next province: Ontario.

The 23-year-old company, which manufactures, sells and distributes the most modular homes in Quebec has acquired Guildcrest Building Corporation, a Morewood, Ont.-based company with a similar mandate. Pro-Fab sees this play as the next step towards becoming the leading modular builder in Canada.

You may have heard this name before. Pro-Fab is a portfolio company of Wynnchurch Capital, a Chicago-based private equity fund manager with more than $1-billion under management. Wynnchurch opened a Toronto office in 2009, and was originally founded by two Canadians, in an effort to find more potential Canadian investment targets.

Back in the Windy City, some have argued that Wynnchurch weathered the drought of private equity investment opportunities better than a lot of its other local competitors. If the small- to mid-sized firms are seeing an awakening in the PE market, Wynnchurch is poised to succeed in the U.S., too. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120526/ISSUE02/305269995/money-starts-flowing-again

Guildcrest, for its part, has been growing its network of company-owned sales centres across the province for the past 20 years. The company is known for its relationships with Ontario’s first-nations communities and for its “adult communities,” which, despite their funny-sounding names, are just groupings of homes geared for those living without children.

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