Mar­ket im­prove­ments ex­pected

Stanstead Journal - - HAP­PEN­INGS -

ate a com­pany with global sales of $180,000,000.

What is known is that the new com­pany will be head­quar­tered in Que­bec City, where Poly­cor was founded in 1987. One of the part­ners in the fi­nanc­ing of the deal is PNC Mez­za­nine Cap­i­tal, who has fi­nanced Poly­cor for a cou­ple of years. The main player is what can be best de­scribed as a ven­ture fund. TorQuest, at the heart of the deal, presents it­self as a pri­vate eq­uity fund. It man­ages more than 2 bil­lion in in­vest­ment and its lat­est of­fer­ing was over cap­i­tal­ized, rais­ing $925,000,000 rather than the pre­dicted $750,000,000. Lo­cally the com­pany is known for its in­vest­ment in Granby Steel tank that they bought in 2002, fi­nally to re­sell it two years later. On the darker side, it was in­volved with the now bank­rupt Her­bal Magic fran­chises. Most com­pa­nies would bury that in­for­ma­tion deep in un­read­able le­gal state­ment, but TorQuest put it front and cen­tre on their web­site.

So what is to be ex­pected is that af­ter the usual round of ‘ra­tio­nal­iza­tion’, Poly­cor will be resold at a profit either pub­licly or pri­vately. As in all ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vest­ments, they are in for the best profit in the min­i­mal amount of time. A fact con­firmed by Poly­cor pres­i­dent Pa­trice Pérus in an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal yes­ter­day. “Pri­vate eq­uity funds have an exit strat­egy of be­tween 5 to 7 years, but we are in for a longer run.” He, along with man­age­ment is hold­ing an un­spec­i­fied num­ber of shares of the com­pany. Mr. Pérus, a French­man who moved to Geor­gia to run a quarry later sold to Poly­cor and who has lived in Que­bec since the mid-nineties, told this news­pa­per that there will not be any jobs lost in Stanstead, either in the plant or in the ad­min­is­tra­tive side of the op­er­a­tion.

When asked on the state of the in­dus­try, he ad­mit­ted that the mon­u­ment side is in de­cline but that a pickup is ex­pected as some of the work done in In­dia and China is com­ing back home. There are very good op­por­tu­ni­ties in the com­mer­cial side for all of the stone in­dus­try and, af­ter the set­back of the re­ces­sion, peo­ple are rein­vest­ing in their homes and stone is a fea­ture in al­most all kitchen ren­o­va­tions.

Where he was most en­thu­si­as­tic was in the in­fra­struc­ture seg­ments. Towns all over North-Amer­ica are re­do­ing their down­town ar­eas to in­duce high spenders there and that in­cludes gran­ite paving and curb­ing.

The quarry with its quaint old crane.

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