With grand opening of state-of-the-art manufacturing facility UltraVision is in "complete control of its own destiny"
$60 million project will create 200 jobs over 3 years
Saint-Hubert, November 6, 2000 – UltraVision Corporation (CDNX :UVC) announced the official grand opening of a state‑of‑the‑art contact lens manufacturing and research facility in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for the Economy and Finance, Bernard Landry, Member of the National Assembly for Vachon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, David Payne, President and Chief Operating Officer of SGF Santé Inc., Francis Bellido, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Raymond Bachand, and Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of UltraVision, Dr. Vincent Zuccaro
The 77,000 sq.ft. facility includes the head office, clean rooms for production and a distribution centre. The plant will have a production capacity of 150 million lenses per year. SGF Santé Inc. owns 33% of UltraVision, MDS Life Sciences Technology Fund owns 18%, Fonds de solidarité FTQ 15% and Oxbow Capital Corporation 3%. The remaining 31% is owned by various other investors including Société Innovatech du Grand Montréal and Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund Ltd (CMDF).
Landry said that the company will employ 150 workers within a few months and that “UltraVision is the only plant of its kind in Canada and one of the few plants in the world that make molded lenses. The use of state‑of‑the‑art technology gives UltraVision the opportunity to take over a substantial portion of the world market and make Québec a leader in this industry.” The Deputy Prime Minister also emphasized the participation of Investissement Québec which, through its Private Investment and Job Creation Promotion Fund (FAIRE) program, is contributing $3.5 million to the project in the form of an interest‑free loan.
Noting that SGF Santé Inc. has invested over $20 million in UltraVision, Bellido explained: “There were several reasons for our decision to go into partnership with UltraVision. First, the strong growth potential of the contact lens market, which is estimated to be 10% per year over the next few years. Second, the use of an advanced technology that will produce high value‑added lenses and could open the door to various other development approaches. Third, the project which represents an excellent business opportunity that is exactly in line with SGF Santé’s objectives.”
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ has invested over $9 million in UltraVision and Bachand praised the entrepreneurial spirit of the company’s managers and employees. He said: “ The Fonds de solidarité FTQ was the first partner in Québec to believe in UltraVision. Our mission is still to create jobs in all part of Québec. The greatest number of our shareholders, come from the Montérégie; therefore, it is appropriate that some of our resources are reinvested in this region. You cannot create jobs without growth. All over Québec, when an entrepreneur has a profitable project, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is there to offer support.”
Dr. Zuccaro added, ”Today is far more than a ceremonial ribbon cutting. This day, the opening of this state-of-the-art contact lens research and manufacturing centre, represents the time in our evolution when UltraVision is in complete control of its own destiny.” Dr. Zuccaro continued: ”We are officially switching on the machinery which will produce the some of the most innovative products in the visioncare industry.”
UltraVision is a rapidly expanding vision care company dedicated to the development, manufacturing and marketing of high quality vision care products. UltraVision currently distributes its products in over forty countries. It has already obtained FDA approval for nine of its proprietary contact lens models including UltraC? and EpiCon? using its revolutionary new material carbosilfocon. The Company’s common shares trade on the Canadian Venture Exchange (UVC: CDNX).
Investissement Québec is a Québec government corporation that has a wide array of ways to attract foreign investment and help develop Québec companies of all sizes in order to create jobs. It has substantial financial leverage for encouraging investment projects in Québec that match the government’s economic development priorities.
With net assets in excess of $3.8 billion, the Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs du Québec FTQ is an investment fund that uses Quebecers’ savings, particularly their RRSPs, to help create and maintain jobs in companies, and participate in the province’s economic development. With nearly 426,000 current shareholders, the Fund has contributed alone or with other financial partners to the creation, maintenance and support of more than 90,000 jobs.
SGF Santé Inc. is a subsidiary of the Société générale de financement du Québec whose mission is to carry out economic development projects meeting normal profitability requirements, in collaboration with business partners. Since it was restructured in 1998, SGF has generated investments of about $2 billion, creating over 9,000 direct and indirect jobs in the operating phase, not counting the thousands of jobs created during the construction phase. As at December 31, 1999, SGF’s consolidated assets totalled close to $2 billion. SGF has 40 international partners operating in Québec.
THE CANADIAN VENTURE EXCHANGE HAS NEITHER APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED THIS PRESS RELEASE
Except for historical information, matters discussed in this news release that are forward-looking statements are subject to certain uncertainties including, but not limited to, the uncertainties associated with the continued growth of world wide specialty contact lens markets, timely production of products, the acceptance of new products, and additional risks as indicated from time to time in the Corporation’s filings with regulatory bodies. The Corporation assumes no responsibility to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events.
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Office of Minister Landry
Communications and Public relations
Chief Financial Officer UltraVision Corporation
Senior Consultant, Media Relations and
Communication, Regional and Specialized Funds
Fonds de solidarité FTQ