Active in maritime transport for 71 years and in environmental solutions for 30 years, Logistec was able to weather the 2020 crisis without too many hitches even though its activities were disrupted by the disruption of the global supply chain in due to the pandemic. The company has just made the largest acquisition in its history and its CEO, Madeleine Paquin, explains the reasons for this constant longevity.
Two weeks ago, Logistec acquired FMT, the marine terminals division of Montreal-based Fednav, which has also been active in shipping for more than 70 years.
This US$105 million transaction allows Logistec to acquire 11 maritime terminals in as many ports in Canada and the United States and to increase the number of its international cargo transhipment sites to 90.
“This is our biggest acquisition, which opens the doors to seven new ports where we were not present and which will strengthen our teams. We are very happy to have achieved it, especially since we know Fednav well, with whom we have been doing business for decades,” underlines Madeleine Paquin.
Since its IPO, the company has always generated profits and has never recorded a loss year.
It was his father, Roger Paquin, who founded Logistec in 1952 and listed it on the stock exchange in 1969. Madeleine Paquin took over in 1996 and the Paquin family still holds 45% of the company’s shares today. ‘business.
“Since 1996, we have never made any new equity issues. We financed our growth with debt and with our cash, ”insists the CEO.
The Caisse de depot et placement became a major shareholder of Logistec in 2015 and has always supported the company in its expansion projects, but the institution did not participate in the financing of the latest acquisition. “We agreed with our banking partners, the Bank of Montreal and the TD Bank, we did not need the Caisse”, specifies Madeleine Paquin.
If we know Logistec better for its maritime activities and its strong presence in the Port of Montreal, its environmental services division Sanexen occupies an increasingly important place within the group.
“We acquired Sanexen, which was managing PCBs, 30 years ago, it was an investment of $700,000. Subsequently, the group diversified into the restoration of contaminated sites and launched into drinking water.
“We have developed solutions and technologies to purify water of contaminants near industrial sites or landfills. Our technology makes it possible to attack perfluorinated compounds, the PFAS which we have heard a lot about recently. We are planning developments on this side in 2023, ”explains Madeleine Paquin.
Sanexen has long been managed independently, but Logistec, which controlled 70% of the shares, bought the remaining 30% from the management committee in 2016.
“Today we have 100% Sanexen. The group makes nearly 350 million of the 900 million in revenue we made last year. Our goal is for each of our two divisions to record revenues of 1 billion,” explains the CEO.
A realistic objective, especially since the acquisition of FMT, concluded two weeks ago, will allow the group to post total revenues of 1 billion.
Since Madeleine Paquin took over the management in 1996, the group has always set itself the objective of doubling in size every five years, which it has succeeded in doing three times out of four, underlines the president.
In recent years, Madeleine Paquin has distinguished herself on the Canadian business scene, as evidenced by the many tributes she has received.
In 2019, Ms. Paquin was admitted to the Cercle des grands entrepreneurs du Québec, along with Jean Coutu (Jean Coutu Group), Guy Laliberté (Cirque du Soleil) and brothers Alain, Laurent and Bernard Lemaire (Cascades Group).
In 2021, Madeleine Paquin received the EY Entrepreneur of Canada Grand Prize. Last year, she received the Great Builders of the Quebec Economy award from the Institute on Governance (IGOPP) to highlight audacity, innovation and exceptional merit.
Finally, next May, Madeleine Paquin will be honored with her induction into the 2023 Canadian Business Hall of Fame. That’s a lot of honors in a short time!
“I am always surprised to receive such honors. It allows us to see the path traveled, to look back on the evolution of our company, to think back to the people who have helped us. We are not well known, but we know our jobs well. I’m happy, but I’m especially proud of our teams, awards like these, it energizes everyone, “said Madeleine Paquin.
Although she is still busy supervising the development of Logistec’s activities, Madeleine Paquin still likes to visit the sites where the group is active.
At the end of the month, she will travel to the port of Sept-Îles to participate in the ceremonies that will mark the first 50 million tonnes of iron ore that have passed through the new multifunctional wharf of the municipality of the North Shore. The beginnings of a long and constant port activity.