The future of Knowlton’s largest employer seems assured following a complex financial deal involving KDC, and investors in the United States and Canada.
The upshot is that the facility here is backed by a new infusion of cash and the continuing support of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The Caisse manages $308-billion held in trust for public pension and insurance funds in Quebec.
Cornell Capital, a Wall Street firm, bought a slice of the ownership stake from the Caisse, which will still own shares in KDC, the acronym for Knowlton Development Corporation. (Locals generally call it Knowlton Packaging.) The interest of the Caisse means maintaining jobs and innovation in Quebec is a priority. The interest of Cornell Capital means large American investors see value in KDC.
“As a longstanding partner of the company, we are pleased to support KDC as it enters a new phase of growth in international markets, which will benefit its global headquarters and operations in Quebec,” says Mathieu Gauvin, senior vice president at the Caisse.
KDC is more than just the plant in Knowlton. It employs 800 people, which is a quarter of the total work force. Its corporate headquarters are actually in Longueuil. The plant manufactures a wide range of beauty and household products.
There was no indication of the size of the investment by Cornell Capital, but the reason for it is the expansion of KDC into markets outside North America.
“The firm (Cornell) will leverage its unique international investment expertise, including its extensive relationships in Asia, to enhance KDC’s business
beyond North America,” said a corporate press release.
The investment is seen as positive for the local factory as the largest part of KDC’s growing corporate empire. The news release also stated that it expects to continue research into new products in the personal care area.