Canam Manac selling semi-trailer division for $70M

Canan Manac selling tractor trailer division for $70M

Canam Manac Group Inc. (TSX:CAM.a)said Friday it is selling its Manac tractor-trailer manufacturing division for $70 million.

The buyers include Quebec labour-sponsored investment fund Fonds de solidarité FTQ, the Bourgie family and the investment group Partenaires de Montréal, which is managed by Pierre Bourgie and Charles Dutil, the president of Manac.

Le Fonds de Solidarité FTQ will hold 40 per cent of Manac, while the Bourgie family and Les Partenaires de Montreal will jointly hold 40 per cent. Charles Dutil will own a 20 per cent stake.

The transaction is expected to be completed in May. The deal doesn't include the equipment, land and the the company's Orangeville, Ont., plant that closed in the summer of 2003.

Canam Manac also announced a reduced loss for the first quarter. The company said its lost $6.6 million (21 cents a share), compared with $7.7 million (22 cents a share) a year earlier.

Consolidated sales reached $179.7 million compared to $189.7 million.

"The outlook for the remainder of 2004 is encouraging," the company said.

Canam Manac said its backlog of orders for all segments in the construction products sector is $161.5 million, up from $135 million for the same period in 2003.

"A recovery in non-residential construction in Canada and the United States indicates a positive outlook for this year and subsequent years," the company said.

Canam Manac stock rose 15 cents to $4.72 in TSX trading.