Quebec ready to help with financing for any Logistec deal: Fitzgibbon

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Quebec is ready to play a role in ensuring that marine services provider Logistec Corp. can remain locally held, economy minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said Friday.

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The move came after Logistec’s main shareholder, Sumanic Investments Inc., informed the board of its interest in considering the sale of all or part of its shares. Sumanic, which is controlled by Logistec chief executive officer Madeleine Paquin and her two sisters, also urged the company “to initiate a process to pursue a strategic transaction in the best interest of all stakeholders, in order to maximize shareholder value.” The Paquin sisters’ father, Roger, founded the company in 1952.

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“As in all situations, we don’t like to see a possibility of a foreign takeover of a company,” Fitzgibbon told reporters Friday in Montreal after attending a presentation to Investissement Québec employees.

“Ms. Paquin is aware that Investissement Québec and the government are ready to play a role, depending on what they will do. To be honest with you, I don’t have the detail of what they will do. We understand the strategic intention. They know that we are interested in participating.”

Logistec hasn’t set a definitive schedule to complete its strategic review. No decision has been made at this time whether to pursue a transaction or maintain the status quo, the company said May 19.

As of mid-afternoon Friday, Logistec had a market value of about $780 million, according to Google Finance data. The company had about 3,400 employees in 2022 and revenue of $898 million.

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Investissement Québec has a dedicated fund that could be tapped to provide financing for a transaction involving Logistec, Fitzgibbon said.

“We have the capacity to invest,” he said. “We have a growth fund, the Fonds pour la croissance des entreprises québécoises, that we created for this. It’s clear that the company is aware that we can participate. They have two businesses and we have to see how things will unfold. I don’t have a firm opinion on this. I hope we will be at the table to see what happens.”

When asked for a reaction to Fitzgibbon’s comments, Logistec vice-president of strategy and communications Marie-Chantal Savoy referred to the company’s May 19 statement and offered no further insight.

Logistec provides services to marine and industrial companies in bulk, break-bulk and container cargo handling in 60 ports and 90 terminals in North America. It also has an environmental unit that provides services such as dredging and the renewal of underground water mains to industrial and government customers.

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