Groupe Solmax, a Canadian-based company and an industry leader in the production of high-quality polyethylene geomembranes for industrial and environmental applications has acquired GSE Environmental based in Houston, Texas, from Littlejohn & Co. LLC, as well as certain funds and accounts managed by Strategic Value Partners LLC, both of which are Greenwich, Conn.-based private investment firms. Both Solmax and GSE operate globally in the geosynthetic products sector, supplying large industrial players with high-quality containment systems for domestic, hazardous or industrial waste burial sites, retention ponds, fracking and heap leaching pads. The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ are Solmax’s financial partners for this transaction. Both will have equity positions in the company.
“This acquisition and the combination of Solmax and GSE creates a true global industry leader,” said Jean-Louis Vangeluwe, president of Solmax. “In a highly fragmented market of polyethylene geomembrane manufacturing, we will have the opportunity to lead and help reshape the industry, based on competitive drivers such as operational excellence and efficiency, superior quality products and deep R&D capabilities.
“Merging GSE with Solmax will also give us a broader manufacturing footprint and an expanded worldwide commercial network,” Vangeluwe added, “which will in turn enable us to work more closely and cohesively with customers, including local service companies and specialized installers who require customized attention. Furthermore, we believe our size and industry leadership will help us work more effectively with global corporations that seek suppliers with manufacturing capabilities around the world and financial means.”
“La Caisse is pleased to take an equity stake in Solmax as it acquires one of the largest companies in its industry and creates the undisputed global leader in geomembrane manufacturing,” said Christian Dubé, executive vice president, Québec at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. “In addition to supporting a company from Québec as it grows internationally, la Caisse is investing in a company that is making a difference for the environment.”
“Once again, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is investing in Solmax to support the growth of this Québec-based flagship company, and a Fonds partner company since 1996,” said Normand Chouinard, executive vice president of investments at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. “With the leadership of its management team, as well as dedicated employees and quality products, Solmax will become a worldwide leader in its field. This transaction will put the Varennes-based company in a good position to lead the global geomembrane market.”
“On behalf of my management team, I would like to thank the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ who have been incredibly supportive business partners through this negotiation process,” said Jacques Côté, Solmax founder and chair. “We clearly saw their commitment to enable Québec entrepreneurs who strive for defining growth and value creation on a worldwide scale.”
The financial terms and conditions of the transaction were not disclosed.