The ups and downs of Quebec inc. in 2020

The ups and downs of Quebec inc.  in 2020

The pandemic has not prevented Quebec companies from continuing to do business. Here’s what caught our attention in 2020.


Four companies take the leap

The ups and downs of Quebec inc.  in 2020

Photos from Twitter and courtesy

The firms Repare Therapeutics, Nuvei, Guru and Haivision went public in 2020.

We had not seen that for a long time: at least four Quebec companies went public this year. Biotech Repair Therapeutics got the ball rolling in June, raising US $ 253 million with its NASDAQ listing. Nuvei followed in September, raising more than $ 700 million on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The online payment firm is already worth more than $ 10 billion. Then, in recent weeks, it was the turn of the energy drink manufacturer Guru and techno Haivision to jump strongly during their first trading sessions.

Cogeco courted

The Audet family says no

The ups and downs of Quebec inc.  in 2020

Archive photo, QMI Agency

Louis Audet

Giants Rogers from Toronto and Altice Europe surprised everyone in early September by offering to buy Cogeco for more than $ 10 billion. The Audet family, which has controlled the telecommunications company since its founding in 1957, rejected the proposal out of hand, wanting to remain in control of the Quebec flagship. By the way, Louis Audet and his clan refused the colossal sum of $ 900 millionor the value attributed to their Cogeco shares.

Changes in custody

Two new big bosses

The ups and downs of Quebec inc.  in 2020

Archival photos, Pierre-Paul Poulin, Martin Alarie and courtesy

Top from left to right: Alain Bellemare and Éric Martel, bottom from left to right: François Desjardins and Rania Llewellyn

On March 11, the very day the World Health Organization called COVID-19 a pandemic, Bomber fired Alain Bellemare, who had been CEO for five years. Eric Martel, a former executive of the company who became the big boss of Hydro-Quebec, succeeded him. In the fall, it’s the Laurentian Bank who made a change of the guard: CEO François Desjardins has been replaced by Rania Llewellyn, a Torontonian who does not (yet) speak French.

Pandemic winners

Their sales exploded

The ups and downs of Quebec inc.  in 2020

Archive photo, Martin Chevalier

The pandemic has resulted in a surge in food orders from Goodfood Market.

A few companies have seen their sales and profits jump with the pandemic. We think of course of Metro, who saw his supermarkets and pharmacies Jean Coutu stormed by Quebecers. Same scenario for Dollarama, whose stores have been deemed essential by governments in Canada. For his part, Goodfood Market has seen its orders for meals to cook jump, while Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) took advantage of a sudden craze for motorized recreation.


Organizations unite

The ups and downs of Quebec inc.  in 2020

Courtesy photo

Hydro-Quebec injected $ 1.2 billion into Innergex in February 2020. Here, the CEO, Michel Letellier.

In February, Hydro-Quebec abandoned its ambition to invest abroad. Instead, the state-owned company chose to inject nearly $ 1.2 billion into the Quebec electricity producer Innergex, which will be responsible for developing projects outside Canada. For their part, insurers SSQ and La Capitale have united their destinies under a new name, Beneva.


Big shopping

The ups and downs of Quebec inc.  in 2020

Photo taken from twitter

WSP Global acquired Ontario’s Golder for $ 1.5 billion last month.

Despite the crisis, several local companies have announced acquisitions. Couche-Tard Food eventually gained a foothold in Asia as an owner. The Quebec multinational has acquired a chain in Hong Kong for $ 470 million. CAE disbursed nearly $ 200 million for three acquisitions. WSP Global will buy Ontarian Golder for $ 1.5 billion. On the other hand, Dorel accepted the offer to purchase presented by the American Cerberus, whileAir Canada has sharply revised downwards its offer for Deckchair.

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