Quebec’s leading water heater rental company, HydroSolution, will go to Ontario’s interests in an undisclosed deal.
They made us an unsolicited offer and we were quick to accept it. “It’s like a big brother who knows the field,” says Nicholas Ayot, president and CEO of HydroSolution, of the acquirer, Ontario’s Enercare.
HydroSolution is growing rapidly and has doubled its headcount over the past eight years. The company was owned by Hydro-Québec until 2005.
Two of the company’s major shareholders were iA Financial Group and Caisse de Depot et placement du Québec.
It was a harmonious process with the shareholders. Everyone was in agreement,” emphasizes Mr. Ayot.
The businessman under the leadership of Ontario interests recently insisted a lot in an interview on the “Quebec clause” included in the sale.
do not move
He assures that the main office will remain here. And HydroSolution’s business partners will remain in Quebecois, if we believe it.
“We are a service company. Water heater installers, we can’t take that to Ontario,” he says.
Quebec is not sought
He adds that HydroSolution’s water heaters run on electricity, while Ontario’s water heaters run mostly on natural gas, ensuring operations will remain centered around Quebec.
“This will allow us to ensure our growth with complete peace of mind, because Enercare believes in us and gives us all assurances regarding the future,” emphasizes Mr. Ayott.
But why not try to see if Caisse, who is already a shareholder, or a fund like the FTQ, might be interested and thus preserve the Quebec character of the burgeoning company?
“We didn’t even ask that question. When a leader like Enercare approaches you, the choice is clear,” says the president.
Backed by its agreement with Hilo, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, which promises smarter management of Quebecers’ energy consumption, HydroSolution says it sees the future in a good light.
“We have tripled the number of our partners in Quebec over the past few years, and the goal is to triple that number again,” the CEO is excited.
▶ The sale of HydroSolution occurs less than 12 months after the manufacturer of water heaters Giant, located since 1945 in eastern Montreal, sold to American interests.
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