Toy construction block builder Mega Brands Inc. may expand its Montreal injection molding factory, and is pondering whether to seek financial support from the Quebec provincial government, according to a published report.
Mega confirmed it is in early stages of exploring what aid might be available, reported The Globe and Mail on Aug. 15. The article quoted Mega Bisma Ansari, senior vice president and global brand manager, as saying her company is at the beginning of an effort to unlock its potential, part of a five-year plan started when Mattel Inc. bought Mega in 2014.
Mega has been a registered lobbyist with the province's Registre des Lobbyistes agency since 2011, according to Quebec government records. In October 2011 Mega notified the provincial government that it was lobbying the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Exportation.
Mattel bought Mega for $460 million to enter the fast growing market of construction toys. The 2014 acquisition made Mattel the second largest producer and marketer of such toys after Lego A/S. Mega's sales were about $405 million in 2013.
Mattel did not reveal its production strategy for Mega when it bought the business. Mega has had a big chunk of its block injection molding done in China but was moving some of it to Montreal. At the time of the Mattel deal, Mega revealed it was seeking as much as C$50 million (US$38 million) in financial support from the Quebec government. Mega vice president of manufacturing Jean-Francois Albert told Plastics News at the time that Mega and Mattel planned to discuss aid from Quebec. Mega officials could not be reached for comment on the current status of negotiations. Albert was one of several Mega officials registered as lobbyists by the government.
Ansari recently told The Globe that Mega is looking to move more production from China to Montreal, which now produces a bit more than half of Mega's toys, about the same percentage as in 2014. The aim is to have Montreal do 70 percent of the firm's production.