Quebec’s leader in water heater rentals, HydroSolution, is moving to Ontario interests in an undisclosed transaction.
“They made us an unsolicited offer and we were quick to accept it. It’s like a big brother who knows the field,” Nicholas Ayotte, president and CEO of Hydro Solutions, said of the buyer, Ontario company Enercare.
HydroSolution is experiencing rapid growth and has doubled its headcount in the past eight years. The company belonged to Hydro-Québec until 2005.
Two of the company’s main shareholders are iA Financial Group and Caisse Depot et Placement du Québec.
“It is an amicable process with stakeholders. Everyone agreed”, asserted Mr. Ayotte.
A businessman in the leadership of Ontario interests recently put a lot of emphasis in an interview on the “Quebec clause” included in the sale.
He assured that the headquarters will remain here. And HydroSolution’s business partners are Quebecois, if we can believe it.
“We are a service company. Water heater installers, we can’t change that to Ontario,” he said.
Quebecers are not solicited
HydroSolution’s water heaters run on electricity, while those in Ontario run mostly on natural gas, ensuring operations remain Quebec-centric.
“This allows us to ensure our growth in peace, because Enercare has put its trust in us and has given us all the guarantees about the future,” said Mr. Ayotte emphasized.
But why not try to see if a fund like the Caisse or FTQ, which is already a shareholder, could take an interest and preserve the Quebec character of the growing company?
“We didn’t even ask the question. When a leader like Enercare approaches you, the choice is clear,” Bass said.
Backed by its agreement with Hilo, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, that guarantees Quebecers to manage their energy use wisely, HydroSolution says it sees the future in a positive light.
“We have tripled our number of partners in Quebec in recent years and the goal is to triple this number again,” enthuses the CEO.
▶ The sale of HydroSolution follows American interests after 12 months of giant, a maker of water heaters east of Montreal since 1945.