As Investissement Québec announces a significant $98 million stake in Polycor, Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon has defended himself from his links to the deal.
This is the first time that Quebec has participated in the Polycourt. I have a modest role to mention that we were interested in. The file was then handed over to the Investissement Québec team and the MEI team. “I am very happy that it happened that way,” said Mr Fitzgibbon, Minister for Economics and Innovation (MEI).
In June 2021, Mr. Fitzgibbon resigned from his position as Minister following a report from the Ethics Commissioner. He had returned to his position in August of the same year.
In 2019, Mr. Fitzgibbon met with representatives of Polycor, accompanied by their lobby member, Luc Laperrière, a longtime friend of the Minister. He said he was excited about their quartz export project.
“It was such a devastating business that we took down the famous quartz mill. It’s a good investment someone is making with American interests,” said Patrick Beerus, President and CEO of Polycor.
The latter defended himself from any conflict of interest.
“I don’t have personal relationships with Pierre Fitzgibbon, nor do I have any personal relationships with anyone in Quebec. We are an excellent company,” Mr. Beeruse added.
This agreement is the result of several months of negotiations between the main partners. More specifically, this includes a $60 million investment in preferred stock in Polycor through Investissement Québec, as well as a $38 million investment in common stock.
Following Wednesday’s announcement, the company is now 20% owned by Quebec interests. It was, until very recently, owned by the Canadian private equity firm TorQuest and two American investment funds, Wynnchurch Capital and PNC Mezzanine.
The company is acquired by Toronto Birch Hill Equity Investment Fund, in partnership with Investement Quebec.
The company operates fifty quarries in North America, of which twenty are in Quebec. For Mr. Fitzgibbon, it is “a very nice deal.”
“We are very happy,” he said.
Through this, we secure and solidify a head office in Quebec. “We maintain 350 jobs and support a company that wants to automate and conquer new markets,” said the minister, who wanted to be present at the announcement.
Polycor in short
- Founded in 1987 in Quebec
- 1300 employees in Europe and North America
- 20 processing plants (including 6 in Quebec)
- Exploitation of about fifty quarries in North America (including about twenty quarries in Quebec)
- Converting granite, marble and limestone
- Aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025
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