Congébec Inc. and SGF partner to create the second largest refrigerated warehouse operator in Québec and the third largest in Canada
Montréal, June 19, 2002 - The Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) and Congébec Inc., a company that has specialized in refrigerated storage for nearly thirty years, have partnered in investments totaling more than $25 million over four years. As a result of these investments, this year Congébec will become the second largest refrigerated warehouse operator in Québec and the third largest in Canada. SGF has $4 million invested in the company’s capital stock.
Thanks to SGF’s investment, Congébec has already invested $3.6 million to expand one of its warehouses in Québec City and $12 million will be invested in the next six months. Another $5 million will go towards expanding a second refrigerated warehouse near Québec City leased by Métro Richelieu, which could give Métro almost twice the storage capacity. A further $7 million will be invested in the construction of a refrigerated warehouse totaling nearly 80,000 square feet in the Boucherville area.
"We are happy to partner with SGF, which is a respected economic player and the only investment company in Québec that has identified logistics as an engine of economic growth and created a special division to develop this sector. We felt from the outset that SGF was ready to do everything it could to accelerate our growth", said Laurier Pedneault, Chair of the Board and main shareholder of Congébec Inc.
"Through its subsidiary SGF-SOQUIA, SGF has been very involved in the food sector for a long time and some of the companies in its portfolio are already Congébec customers", added Congébec President and CEO Renaud Lapierre.
Claude Blanchet, Chair of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of SGF, analyzed the situation as follows: "We believe there is significant growth potential in this sector. Frozen food sales per capita are about 20% lower than in the United States. Since consumption trends in Québec and Canada follow American trends, there is a good chance that the consumption of frozen foods will increase in the coming years. In fact, the demand for frozen foods in North America is increasing faster than the demand for food in general. Statistics show a compound annual growth rate of 4% over the past ten years. This is an attractive growth rate underpinned by strong demographic trends".
"We are happy to partner with Congébec. It has many years of experience in this sector and a solid development plan and it will generate immediate benefits in the Québec City and Boucherville areas", concluded Blanchet.
Congébec has four modern warehouses in Montréal and Québec City, in addition to the new one being built in Boucherville. It will be the only company that serves these three cities. Warehousing is not its only business: it also offers a full range of logistical services to companies in the food sector that need a cold chain, including management through outsourcing.
The mission of the Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) is to carry out economic development projects in cooperation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements for profitability. Since it was restructured in 1998, SGF has generated investments of nearly $7.5 billion and created more than 43,000 direct and indirect jobs. As of December 31, 2001, SGF’s consolidated assets totaled over $3 billion. SGF has 57 international partners operating in Québec. (sgfqc.com)
Communications Hélène Bouchard