Circuit Foil Luxembourg and Société Générale de Financement du Québec create Circuit Foil America
A CDN$130 million investment
Luxembourg, February 2, 2000 - In the presence of Bernard Landry, Québec’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for the Economy and Finance, and Michel Wurth, Chairman of the Board of CFL and Vice-President of ARBED, Claude Blanchet, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) and Michel Hacart, President of Circuit Foil Luxembourg (CFL), announced today that the two companies will invest CDN$130 million to establish a copper foil production plant in Granby.
Once completed, the initiative will create 140 direct jobs, in addition to the jobs resulting from the two‑year construction project. The mayor of Granby, Mr. Michel Duchesneay, was also in attendance at the announcement.
In line with its objective to always hold a minority position, SGF will form a limited partnership in which it will hold 49% of the new company’s capital stock and CFL 51%. Investissement Québec is also a major partner in the project, contributing CDN$8.7 million through its FAIRE program.
Copper foil is used in the production of laminates and printed circuit boards. The current initiative therefore represents one of the missing links on the industrial chain for printed circuit production in Québec. Construction will begin this spring and should be completed by the end of 2001.
"The Luxembourg investment announced today by the SGF is a sign of Québec’s economic vitality, a vitality confirmed during our presence at the Davos Summit," declared Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Landry. "It holds an important position in the printed circuit board process and will position Québec as a partner of choice in North America. Through this investment, we are also demonstrating that the major players in the industry recognize competitive advantage and choose their partners accordingly."
For SGF President and CEO Claude Blanchet, this new investment is the culmination of over a year of work and discussions on two continents. "This project not only ensures us an enviable position on the North American market, but it falls perfectly in line with our investment strategy, which involves developing greenfield projects in partnership with foreign investors. Finally, in addition to the significant economic spin-offs, the new plant will have a structuring effect on this sector of the growing semi-conductor industry," he said.
"This project is an appropriate response to the globalization of the market for laminate and printed circuit producers. It opens the possibility for significant growth for Circuit Foil, which will be in a position to take full advantage of the significant increase in demand for electronics," added Michel Wurth, Chairman of the Board of Circuit Foil Luxembourg.
CFL currently operates two similar plants in Luxembourg, where it is headquartered. "The company was looking for a partner in North America, where demand for copper foil is the strongest. Given the high electricity costs for this type of production and our need for manpower, Québec possessed the right competitive advantages—not to mention the presence of a quality partner like Société générale de financement du Québec," said Mr. Hacart, President of CFL.
CFL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the international industrial group ARBED, which is headquartered in Luxembourg. Active worldwide, the ARBED group has a steel production capacity of over 22 million tonnes, making it a leading producer of rolled products and an important supplier to the automotive industry. It is a leader in long-span products, mainly joists, sheet pile, concrete rounds(??) and wire rod. ARBED group is pursuing its development in areas related to the steel industry and in metal processing, including ultra‑thin copper foil for the electronics industry.
In accordance with its five-year plan, SGF will invest CDN$360 million of equity through its High Technology portfolio, generating over CDN$1.8 billion in investments. The Crown Corporation already holds interests in nine initiatives in this sector, representing close to CDN$150 million invested and some 1,000 jobs created or maintained.
The mission of Société générale de financement is to realize industrial projects meeting normal profitability requirements, in collaboration with business partners. Since 1985, SGF has generated investments of about CDN$6.7 billion, leading to the creation of 22,000 direct and indirect jobs. As of December 31, 1998, consolidated assets totalled CDN$1.8 billion. Companies in which the SGF holds had a total of CDN$10 billion. SGF has 34 international partners operating in Québec.
Vice-president, Communications and Public Relations
Société générale de financement du Québec