The IPSCO name was synonymous with a Prairie corporate success story for half a century, but now the name of the formerly Regina-based steel and pipe company is coming down.
From now on, IPSCO Inc. will operate under the name of its new owner, Evraz Inc., which has overseas offices in Luxembourg and Moscow and a North American office in Portland, Ore.
"While it takes time getting used to a new name, we feel strongly that our customers, employees, suppliers and the communities in which we operate will soon discover it's business as usual under the Evraz umbrella," Evraz's North American CEO Jim Declusin said in a news release.
The name change is part of a complicated transaction that affects other steel mills, in other parts of North America, that were once operated by IPSCO. The company was bought out by a Swedish company, SSAB Svenskt Stal AB, last year, but then earlier this year, Evraz made a $4 billion bid for some of the properties.
When all the corporate dust has settled, the Evraz name will be on former IPSCO facilities in Regina, Alberta and British Columbia.
Thus ends a chapter in Western Canadian corporate history. Regina was home to IPSCO's flagship Canadian pipe and steelmaking operation, which had it roots in the late 1950s when it was known as Interprovincial Steel Corporation. For much of its existence, IPSCO had its corporate head office in Regina, although that later moved to the Chicago area.
Largest private employer
For many years, IPSCO was also Regina's largest private employer and was involved in numerous local sponsorships.
The Regina Exhibition Association fairground was renamed IPSCO Place a few years ago as part of a sponsorship deal.
A name change there is a possibility, according to exhibition association CEO Mark Allen. Allen said it's not unusual for venues to go through a name change when their sponsor changes name, noting that the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary was formerly the Canadian Airlines Centre and the Skyreach Centre in Edmonton became the Rexall Place.
"It is one of the things that happens when you involve the corporate sector or the private sector in these facilities," he said.
The sponsorship agreement covers the possibility of a name change, Allen said. The sale of the naming rights brought in money that has been used for various upgrades at the park.