According to Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Louis Garneau Sports’ president (Louis Garneau) says he hopes to take his company public in the next two years. The announcement comes just a year after Garneau filed for creditor protection, listing debts of $32.7 million. Garneau says that ebike sales will push the company towards its new goal of becoming publicly traded.
This December, Louis Garneau Sports Group (which includes three Canadian brands: Garneau, Sugoi and Sombrio) announced a new investor and a brand relaunch. Louis Garneau himself remains the majority shareholder of Louis Garneau Sports Group, but Montreal-based investment firm Champlain Financial Corporation also joined the group as a new business partner. A loan from Investissement Quebec and financial backing from the National Bank of Canada helped finalize the company’s revitalization plan—Garneau says Louis Garneau Sports Group is now profitable again. The group has even exceeded its sales budgets for its summer and winter apparel lines.
“Just like an Olympic athlete, we needed a few years to prepare for this great race,” Garneau told Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.
“Louis Garneau Sports has reached a point in its existence where it will have to constantly innovate and invest to be able to hold its own on the global market and I feel the best way to do that is through the stock exchange. I want to be a part of Quebec, Inc.,” he said.
Garneau says a priority of his business has always been to keep the company owned by Canadians. “Thanks to its trademarks recognized throughout the world, Louis Garneau Sports Group is a strategic company for the Quebec economy,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation, when Garneau announced it would receive help from Investissement Quebec. “It is above all an international benchmark in the world of sport and a strong symbol for Quebec entrepreneurship.”
The ebike plan
The Louis Garneau Sports Group’s new investors are calling for the company to become “an important player on the global ebike market.” Industry experts are predicting ebike sales will continue to rise at a rapid rate, from 3.7 Million in 2019 to 17 Million per year by 2030.
“The market will be growing for at least 10 to 15 years; we are going into active transportation through bicycle electrification in order to reduce greenhouse gases. The timing is perfect to start this strategic project,” said Garneau.