Lévis-based emergency medical transport company, Dessercom, formalized the acquisition of Airmedic for $54 million on Monday afternoon.
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As part of the financial collapse of the Huot Group and its owner Stéphan Huot, Airmedic sought refuge from its creditors in July. The businessman became one of the two shareholders of the emergency transport service in 2012.
The transaction aims to “ensure sustainability and continue growth” of the established air medical transport company across Quebec.
The operation was partially funded by Investment Quebec, which injected $6.5 million into the purchase to support the operation of AirMedic in the province. Dessercom will cover the remaining costs with its own funds and financing from Desjardins Group.
“This is a company that complements our service offering. It must be remembered that it was not Airmedic that faced difficulties, but the Huet Group,” stated Maxime Laviolette, president and CEO of Desercom.
The company, headquartered in Quebec’s South Shore, is also pleased to place AirMedic, which was established as a non-profit organization in 2000, under Quebec ownership.
Airmedic CEO Sophie LaRochelle said she and employees were relieved of the uncertainty that had arisen since the company filed for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (LACC).
“We are confident that we are working with solid partners and can resume our cruising speed with the same growth goals. Knowing that we have solid support will not hurt recruitment.”
Mme LaRochelle noted that negotiations between the two emergency pre-hospital transport companies went smoothly. She is also happy that Airmedic will retain its operational independence despite the transaction.
“They trust us to continue the good work we are doing now. We will always serve as many Quebecers as possible who need our services. We keep the same recipe and we go the same way,” she continues.
Maxime Laviolette says “the company has an excellent management team, 150 competent employees” and ensures that they have free rein.
Now that it is “back on a solid footing,” expansion outside of Quebec is in Airmedic’s plans. The company will also add a new service point to “serve remote communities more effectively.” Its location will be revealed in the coming weeks.
History of Airmedic:
2000: Founded as a non-profit organization by François Rivard. His experience as a flight paramedic during the Saguenay floods in 1996 led to the idea.
2012: After 12 years as an NPO, Airmedic was privatized with the arrival of two entrepreneurs, including Stéphan Huot. François Rivard was also one of the leaders.
2014: François Rivard knocked on the door due to policy disagreements with the new shareholders. He founds a competing service, Helico Secours, in 2020.
June 2023: Airmedic was put up for sale as part of the Huot Group debacle. Bureau of Investigation Newspaper It has been confirmed that it wants to take over Desercom.
July 2023: In the absence of a buyer for Airmedic, the arrangement of companies’ creditors is protected by law.
November 2023: The transaction between DeserCom and AirMedic was formalized after several months of delays, particularly regarding the company’s legal status.