Canadian furniture maker Villageois declares bankruptcy
Case goods manufacturer, sister companies to be liquidated
Michael J. Knell -- Furniture Today, July 6, 2011
ST-BENOÎT-LÂBRE, Quebec — Canadian case goods specialist Les Meuble Villageois, as well as its two sister companies, have declared bankruptcy and are in the process of being liquidated.
A few days ago, the court appointed Pierre Madore of the accounting firm Raymond Chabot of Saint-Georges, Quebec, as the trustee in charge of the estate.
Also including the bankruptcy filings were bedroom maker Valco Furniture and upholstery producer Les Meubles Victorama.
Villageois was founded in the late 1970s by Charles Roy. Although originally a bedroom specialist, in recent years Villageois had branched out, producing a reasonably well received Mission-styled dining room collection as well as a companion entertainment unit and occasional table offering - all in the better and best price points.
In September 2008, Roy acquired Valco, another midpriced to high-end pine and maple bedroom specialist.
Based in nearby Victoriaville, Quebec, Victorama was a midpriced to lower-high-end stationary upholstery producer.
At one time, Villageois and its sister companies employed 175 people. With the onset of the recession in late 2008, the number of production staff slowly fell. When the plants went idle at the end of April, approximately 40 people were still working.
Several industry sources have said efforts were made to sell the company. However, negotiations ended, prompting the bankruptcy application.
According to court documents, Villageois has total assets of about C$4.8 million and liabilities of C$1.8 million. Among the secured creditors are the Federal Business Development Bank, which was owed a total of approximately C$980,000, and its Quebec counterpart, Investissement Québec, owed C$160,000.
The company also owes its unsecured creditors a total of C$558,400.
Meanwhile, Victorama owes its creditors C$1.2 million - including C$914,000 to secured creditors - and has total assets of approximately C$971,000.
Valco has unsecured debts of C$620,000.
A meeting of creditors will be held at the trustee's office on July 7.