Posted by Editor on 12/8/20
In March, Louis Garneau filed for creditor protection for its Canadian division, claiming debts of $32.7 million (Canadian $) [see Garneau Files for Creditor Protection in Canada]. Since then, it has been working with the courts and its creditors on a recovery plan. The company announced today that it has completed the process with a new investor stepping in, as well as provincial and bank guarantees. The full release:
The Louis Garneau Sports Group completed today the last stage of a tumultuous Grand Tour. The group is pleased to announce that a new investor will be coming on board to assist the brand relaunch. This step completes the reorganization, following the creditors' and the court's approval of proposed debt restructuration of September 10 and September 17.
The Montreal-based investment firm Champlain Financial Corporation, is joining as a new business partner for the group. Garneau and Champlain have been working relentlessly over the past months to prepare a new strategic plan to bolster the international growth of the three core brands; Garneau, Sugoi and Sombrio.
Champlain Financial Corporation brings branding, retail, and distribution experience it acquired through its other major investments in Quebec, notably with brands such as Kanuk, La Canadienne, G2MC (Galerie du Meuble, Maison Corbeil and Jardin de Ville) and many others. Today, the firm adds a new world-class Quebec player to its portfolio.
"We sincerely believe that Louis and his team of seasoned leaders have all the assets required to reinforce the positioning of the Louis Garneau Sports Group as a world leader of cycling apparel, accessories and bikes," declares Pierre Simard, President of Champlain Financial Corporation.
Louis Garneau, who remains the majority shareholder of the company, is extremely proud to partner with a Canadian investor, ensuring that the head office remains in St-Augustin-de-Desmaures. "Never Give Up has been my motto during my whole cycling career. Even if this race has been the most difficult one of my life, I never gave up. Champlain Financial Corporation believed in our team from the very beginning. I want to thank them for trusting and believing in us. We just crossed the finish line together with a victory and we are ready to attack the next Tour together. We will win through innovation and we will surprise you!," says Louis Garneau.
The group also benefitted from a new loan from Investissement Quebec, which solidified the agreement with Champlain's investment, as well as bank financing from the National Bank of Canada. Investissement Quebec granted the five year interest loan to support the group in realizing its strategic plan and achieving its growth targets.
"This relaunch plan will allow Louis Garneau Sports Group to exploit new technologies and to place greater emphasis on e-commerce, two essential conditions of competitiveness in today's world. Thanks to its trademarks recognized throughout the world, Louis Garneau Sports Group is a strategic company for the Quebec economy. It is above all an international benchmark in the world of sport and a strong symbol for Quebec entrepreneurship. In these times of economic recovery, I encourage all of Quebec to continue to favour local purchasing," said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation.
"Louis Garneau is the story of a family business that has become a true pride for Quebec. For almost forty years, the company has contributed to the economic development of my district of Louis-Hébert, our Capital-Nationale and the whole province by providing specialized jobs and generating economic benefits. Moreover, Garneau enhances the international recognition of the Province's know-how and manufacturing expertise by distributing its quality products globally. Like our citizens, I am very happy to see the consolidation of the company activities in our district," added Geneviève Guilbault, deputy premier, minister of Public Security and minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region.
"I know that times are very difficult right now for many Canadians and Quebec companies and I am very grateful for the interest loan from Investissement Quebec. I have fought all my career to keep the company in Quebec, Canada. Our province lost a lot of great brands in the last 25 years. Canadians have been very loyal those past few months and I want to thank them for believing in us," says Louis Garneau. "I am very proud of our Canadian trilogy of brands: Garneau Sugoi and Sombio and of their internationally reputation."
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