Sale of Lebel Group’s Cap-Chat Plant to Damabois
The Lebel family’s involvement in the region dates back almost 30 years. Indeed, Deniso Lebel Inc. had been awarded a CAAF, following many pressures from the community, on the condition of building a new sawmill in Cap-Chat. Construction began in 1991 and I had the privilege of participating while I was working as a day laborer as a summer job. I was still in school at the time.
The first investment I made following the reorganization of the company in 2004 was in Cap-Chat. At that time, this plant was the largest production unit of the Lebel Group.
The crisis that affected the forest industry from 2008 was the most difficult in our history. We had to make difficult business decisions. It was in this context that the plant stopped producing in 2012 for an indeterminate period.
In 2015, when we decided to invest $2,000,000 in the plant, which had been closed for almost 3 years, our business plan led us to operate on 2 shifts to achieve the necessary profitability. It is clear that we have not been able to achieve this goal to date. The new Caribou plan and the weakness of the softwood lumber and by-product markets make us realize that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve this goal.
Following an analysis of the possible options to maintain the viability of the site, the sale of the plant to the neighboring company Damabois seemed to us the most sensible for the community as well as for our workers. Indeed, Damabois has been firmly established in Cap-Chat for many years. The transfer of ownership from the Lebel family to the Lavoie family represents the best opportunity to keep Cap-Chat’s long-term operations.
In closing, I would like to thank each and every one of my employees for your good work and support over the years. I wish everyone the best of luck for years to come.
Chief Executive Officer
Lebel Group Inc.
(Press Release was translated from French)
Source: Groupe Lebel (2004) Inc.