Quebec flexible packaging company Gelpac Inc. has new owners.
Gelpac was bought by a private equity and an institutional investor for undisclosed terms. Gelpac's three divisions include one — Polyplus Plastic Solutions Inc. — that extrudes polyethylene film and converts it to bags.
Gelpac's previous owner, Paul Gelinas, is retiring. Marieville, Quebec-based Gelpac is now headed by Gelpac President and general manager Alain Robillard, who was appointed by the new owners. Robillard, with a background in manufacturing management, replaces former head of the company Claude Lemoyne, who also is retiring.
Gelpac's Polyplus division runs six PE extrusion lines and bag-making equipment in Farnham, Quebec. Gelpac's other divisions are Rouville, which supplies multi-wall paper packaging, and Gelpac Distribution, which distributes packaging products such as stretch films and strapping and offers warehousing services.
Robillard said in a phone interview that Gelpac is financially strong.
"Gelpac is in great shape," Robillard stated. "It's doing really well."
Robillard said under new ownership the firm plans to invest in more extrusion capacity but details are not yet available. Food, medical and other markets are driving Gelpac's growth. He said the company also plans to step up its U.S. presence.
Namakar Holdings, one of Gelpac's new owners, comprises Quebec entrepreneurs and is based in Montreal. The private equity invests for the long term and is active in daily management of companies in its portfolio.
Caisse de dépôt et Placement du Quebec is the other new owner. The institutional investor has long-term horizons in managing investments for public pension and insurance plans. The caisse supports numerous Quebec manufacturing companies and holds net assets of C$286.5 billion (US$229.2 million). The Quebec Manufacturing Fund, a C$200 million (US$160 million) funding pool sponsored by the caisse, also owns a piece of Gelpac.
Gelpac employs about 200, half of them Polyplus employees. It was established in 1956 and supplies diverse markets, including food, agriculture, construction, retail and pharmaceutical.
"The partners of Namakor are putting their financial and operational talent to the task of ensuring the continuation of this company, a major milestone in its history," noted Namakor President and senior partner Patrick Dussault and senior partner Stephane Huot in an Aug. 22 news release.
"Beyond investment, we are pleased to share our operational expertise in manufacturing [for] the best business practices with Gelpac," stated Mario Tougas, partner with the Quebec Manufacturing Fund, in a news release.