The Caisse de dépôt once again becomes a shareholder of Solotech

Quebec-based Solotech, a leader in audiovisual systems and entertainment technologies, is reconnecting with a former business partner. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which had already been a shareholder until 2013, became one again a decade later, while the company was transformed.

“It’s really great news,” rejoices the president and CEO of Solotech, Martin Tremblay, in an interview with Duty. The company in which the Caisse de dépôt invests today is “completely transformed” compared to that which the institution knew ten years ago, raises the businessman.

At the time, the Hochelaga company had around 600 employees and “was still a local, Quebec, Canadian company that was doing very well, but was little known internationally,” he notes. Today, it has nearly 2,000 employees deployed in around twenty offices, themselves spread across three continents.

Solotech’s reputation is well established. She stands out internationally by taking part in the production of large-scale shows such as those of Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Adele and Cirque du Soleil. It also supplies audiovisual systems to the Bell Center, the Montreal-Trudeau airport and business environments.

But its growth potential is far from exhausted, believes Mr. Tremblay. The amount invested by the Caisse de dépôt in Solotech, which is not disclosed, will allow the company to finance its new phase of development. It will be used to support “its acquisition and growth strategy”, in addition to “expanding its presence in various markets”, indicates its manager.

“Our business plan is to establish ourselves even more firmly in Europe, to continue our American expansion and also in the United Arab Emirates as well as in South-East Asia,” he explains.

The billion mark

When Mr. Tremblay took office in 2017, the company’s revenues were approximately $150 million. Today, they exceed 650 million. And they could reach the billion mark “sooner rather than later”, hopes Mr. Tremblay, thanks to the arrival of the Caisse de dépôt as a shareholder.

“I dare to hope that we will achieve this in a period of three to five years. Maybe it will be faster. But we’re going to let our new partner arrive. And we will work on the strategy with them,” he emphasizes.

Concerning a possible IPO, the company’s number one indicates that this possibility is “clearly discussed”, but that it is not envisaged “in the short term”.

The Caisse de dépôt’s acquisition of a minority stake places it in second position as a shareholder after Claridge, Stephen Bronfman’s investment company. Investissement Québec and Desjardins Capital also own shares.

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