Canam Manac sells trailer business; focuses on construction

SAINT-GEORGES, Que. (April 7, 2004) — The Canam Manac Group of Saint- Georges de Beauce has announced its Manac semitrailer production unit will be sold to a group of Quebec investors as part of a major company reorganization focused on the construction sector.

The investor group includes Manac president and COO Charles Dutil as a minority shareholder. A letter of agreement has been signed by all parties to close a transaction on April 27, 2004. The deal — which excludes the Orangeville, Ont. trailer assembly plant closed last November — will create additional cash flow of $60 million, while ensuring that Manac, whose main office will remain in Saint Georges, will continue its semitrailer
manufacturing operations.

Business seemed to be on the rise for Manac recently. Last month, it signed what it called one of the largest contracts in its history with S.L.H. Transport of Kingston, Ont. The $15 million deal included the manufacturing of 600 53-foot aluminum vans.

Canam Manac says its new strategic plan to dispose of ” underperforming ” operations, and instead focus activities on the construction products segment, paves the way for a return to profitability during 2004. It will also sell its Tanguay Industries subsidiary and close several plants including Monterrey, Mexico, Columbus, Ohio, and Laval Que.

The company will be split into nine different business units: Canam Joists and Steel Deck Canada; Canam Joists and Steel Deck United States; Structal Heavy Structural Steel; Structal Bridges; Hambro Floor Systems; Murox and Expanpro Buildings; Solicor; SPS Technology Distribution and Technyx; Technical Resource Outsourcing.

In 1999, the company broke off negotiations to sell its semitrailer division and assets to Chicago-based Great Dane Limited Partnership (GDLP) for $87.5 million. The parties were unable to agree on details mostly relating to employee matters.

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