Toronto, Ontario – November 5, 2007: Aecon Group Inc. (“Aecon”) (TSX:ARE) today announced that it has signed a letter of intent regarding the purchase of the assets of Leo Alarie and Sons Limited (“LAS”), one of the largest construction companies in northern Ontario.
A private company, owned primarily by the Alarie Family, LAS is an integrated construction and materials company active throughout northern Ontario in heavy construction (highways, hydro-electric projects, sewer and water, pipelines, etc.), engineered construction (design/build projects such as bridges and mine site infrastructure requiring substantial engineering), pre-engineered buildings, contract open pit mining and aggregate supply.
Under the letter of intent, which is subject to a number of conditions including completion of satisfactory due diligence, Aecon would acquire the assets of LAS including its substantial equipment fleet (and associated debt), land, pits and quarries (with associated inventories), as well as selected construction and mining contracts. The purchase price is expected to be approximately $19 million and the transaction is targeted to close in late December.
LAS’ asset base includes over 600 pieces of construction and mining equipment as well as numerous aggregate pits and quarries. The pits and quarries, focused primarily in the Sudbury, North Bay and Timmins regions, contain approximately 750 million tonnes of reserves. The business is based in Timmins and employs approximately 250 people, including about 60 full time salaried staff.
LAS’ current management team would remain in place, including President Denis Alarie, who would continue to manage the company. Aecon and LAS have enjoyed a strong relationship for many years, working together on a number of construction projects in northern Ontario. Since 2000, the two companies have established formal joint venture partnerships to complete six significant highway projects, including current contracts on Hwy 69 in Estaire and Hwy 11 in Burks Falls.
The acquisition would give Aecon a strong regional presence in all four major regions of Ontario, and the addition of LAS’ aggregates operation would consolidate Aecon’s position as one of the four largest aggregate producers in Ontario.
“This would be a significant acquisition for Aecon”, said Scott Balfour, President and CFO of Aecon Group Inc. “Adding one of the top companies in the growing northern Ontario civil construction and mining markets would be a significant boost to our growth plans in the province, and the addition of LAS’ substantial aggregate reserves furthers one of our important strategic objectives.”
“We have a long and successful history with LAS and we would be very proud to be the successor to the Alarie family in this business”, said Teri McKibbon, CEO of Aecon’s Infrastructure Group. “We know them to be one of the top companies in the industry.”
“The acquisition by Aecon of LAS would be a natural evolution in the succession of our company. We have worked closely in partnership with Aecon for the past eight years and our respective cultures are aligned”, said Denis Alarie, President of Leo Alarie and Sons Limited. “We look forward to the continuation of this partnership and to being a part of a larger construction company. This will create additional opportunities for our employees and for our company and will add important operational synergies.”
Aecon Group Inc. is Canada's largest publicly traded construction and infrastructure development company. Aecon and its subsidiaries provide services to private and public sector clients throughout Canada and internationally. The Company's shares are listed for tra