“I don’t think we realized how complex and broad our business was..." see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Andrew Duffy
With sale of marine lighting business, Carmanah Technologies looks to the future
John Simmons believes Friday’s completion of the sale of Carmanah Technologies’ marine lighting business paves the way for the Victoria-based company to grow in its sweet spot.
The Carmanah chief executive said the sale, which is worth $77 million US and represents the handing over of about half the company to North Carolina-based SPX Corp., allows Carmanah to focus on its remaining assets.
“It’s really exciting. We are seeing our ability to focus on a smaller number of industries,” Simmons said.
“I don’t think we realized how complex and broad our business was. But we are now in a situation where we are really quite focused on a small number of things.”
Simmons expects that will mean significant growth for the company.
Simmons said life after the transaction will see the solar company’s focus sharpen on the traffic industry, where he sees great prospects for growth.
“There are some big themes that will shape the traffic control industry — autonomous vehicles and smart cities,” he said.
Simmons said autonomous vehicles will be intersecting with pedestrians, and data from what have been “dumb, stationary” devices will have to evolve into ones that gather and transmit information.
“That’s our sweet spot,” Simmons said.
As for the smart city concept, Simmons said Carmanah’s role will be in helping municipalities gain full control of their traffic control devices to allow them to adjust and reroute traffic flow.
“This suggests to me that growth rates will be extraordinary there,” he said. “And it’s fun to think about what we might be able to do in those spaces when you add our expertise and now resources that we have never had before.”
The sale, approved by shareholders Jan. 22, includes the entirety of Carmanah’s marine lighting business, an aviation obstruction lighting unit, an airfield lighting unit and some smaller support businesses.
It will net Carmanah about $73.5 million US, which is expected to result in the company having a cash balance of about $88.5 million US.
While Carmanah hasn’t determined how it will spend that money, Simmons said they are looking at some acquisitions that will strengthen the position in traffic control.
There may also be investment in the remaining business units and returning cash to shareholders.
The purchase price is NZD $12.0 million (USD $9.0 million) subject to certain adjustments and escrow see more
Carmanah Closes Purchase of Vega Industries Limited
Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX: CMH) (“the Company” or “Carmanah”) today announces that it has closed its previously announced transaction to acquire Vega Industries Limited (“Vega”). The purchase price is NZD $12.0 million (USD $9.0 million) subject to certain adjustments and escrow holdbacks.
Vega, with revenues of approximately NZD $7.7 million (USD $5.8 million) in its fiscal year March, 2017, will be maintained as a wholly owned subsidiary of Carmanah at its base of operations in Porirua, New Zealand. The acquired business will operationally report to Sabik Marine OY based in Porvoo, Finland. Integration plans, with a specific focus on providing marine aids-to-navigation customers comprehensive single-source solutions, are expected to be implemented over the coming months.
As of July 31, 2017, Vega’s estimated balance sheet is comprised of approximately NZD $3.5 million (USD $2.6 million) of working capital, NZD $3.6 million (USD $2.7 million) of fixed assets including land and buildings. Vega had negligible net debt on the closing date.
About Carmanah Technologies Corporation
Carmanah designs, develops, and distributes a portfolio of products focused on energy-optimized LED solutions for infrastructure. Since 1996, we have earned a global reputation for delivering durable, dependable, efficient, and cost-effective solutions for industrial applications that perform in some of the world’s harshest environments. We manage our business within two reportable segments: Signals and Illumination. The Signals segment serves the Airfield Ground Lighting, Aviation Obstruction, Offshore Wind, Marine, and Traffic markets. The Illumination segment provides solar-powered LED outdoor lights for municipal and commercial customers.
Carmanah Technologies Corporation:
250 380 0052
Chief Financial Officer/Corporate Secretary
Victoria-based Carmanah Technologies has acquired marine navigation products see more
Source: Times Colonist
Carmanah buys Estonia marine lighting division
Victoria-based Carmanah Technologies has acquired marine navigation products under the EKTA brand from Cybernetica AS of Estonia. “The EKTA products will strengthen our worldwide product portfolio and allow us to provide more comprehensive single-source solutions for our marine customers,” said Carmanah chief executive John Simmons. “At the same time, the assignment of Cybernetica’s sales contracts adds to our overall market share and our position as the dominant provider in Europe.” Carmanah paid 1.35 million euros for the products. The first million is due on closing and the rest on the first anniversary of closing.
The challenge raised $82,274 in cash and food [so far, with more detailed results to come] see more
Source: Times Colonist
Author: Andrew Duffy
State of the heart: tech sector gives big
It’s a massive industry that makes a deep economic impact on the region, and for most of the year it quietly goes about employing more than 20,000 people.
Yet at this time of year, when the need is greatest and the weather cold, the region’s $4-billion technology sector roars into action with the annual Victoria Innovation Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council Food Bank Challenge.
The event, in its [14th year], has raised more than $2 million for the Mustard Seed Food Bank since its inception.
“I think it’s important the technology sector does what it can for the community, and this is one of the most visible ways we have to show that,” said VIATEC chief executive Dan Gunn. “The interesting thing about this is very few tech firms have customers in Victoria, so they don’t do marketing charity work. All their philanthropy is hidden because they don’t need their logo on it.”
But Gunn said the companies, in a collegial and tight-knit tech community, are ultra-competitive.
“And when you pit them against each other, it brings [the best] out of them,” he said, noting the challenge has grown to include 34 local tech firms.
This year, the challenge raised $82,274 in cash and food [so far, with more detailed results to come.]
The vast majority, $68,256, was raised in cash, cheques and online donations, while about 5,367 pounds of food was collected.
Gunn said the sector has decided to push the cash side of the challenge, especially at this time of year.
“It’s a great time to ask people to give because people are more generous of spirit, but that’s a challenge for the food bank,” he said. “Because they get all this food at once, they may have a slow month [in terms of donations] later.
“We focus on cash, so they will have funds to distribute throughout year and to target things they don’t have in stock.”
The Mustard Seed also has better buying power, with its dollar able to get up to three times more than a regular shopper could.
The competing tech companies were also vying for titles, as well as bragging rights.
This year’s biggest money raiser was Carmanah Technologies, which donated $21,377, and the greatest food contribution came from Beanstream, which collected 1,502 pounds of food.
To raise money and food, all 34 companies held fundraisers over the past four weeks, including a Flytographer Christmas sweater fun run, Starfish Medical’s annual chili cook-off, Ringpartner’s wine night and Carmanah’s ping-pong tournament.
Last year, VIATEC’s challenge raised $74,000 and 1,000 pounds of food during its Christmas drive, while a food drive in February of last year raised another $47,000 for the Mustard Seed Food Bank.
The annual challenge has become a huge event for VIATEC, and it has spurred the organization to establish a foundation.
“It’s something we expect to launch in the new year so we can do things like this throughout the year,” Gunn said.
Carmanah has jumped more than 1,200% from $983,000 in 2014 to $12.85 million in 2015. see more
Author: Tyler Orton
B.C.’s most profitable tech firms look beyond Vancouver for top talent
Geoff Haydon recalls the Vancouver tech sector being “a bit of a desert” the first time he moved to the city in 1993. Back then, companies like Creo and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX:MDA) were the only notable firms hiring top tech talent.
But on his return to the West Coast in 2014 to take the CEO job at Absolute Software Corp. (TSX:ABT), Haydon was struck by how much richer the city’s tech scene had become when attracting talent – even if it’s by less conventional means.
“Information security is a very specialized industry, and Vancouver doesn’t have a long, rich heritage of information security companies or technology,” he said. “We do have access to talent but in many cases we’ve had to extend ourselves into other geographies and hire people to work remotely and spend part of their time in Vancouver.”
Despite the company having some C-suite members based in different cities, 2015 was a “transformational” year for Absolute, according to Haydon.
Profits for the firm, which specializes in security for end-point devices (any smartphone, tablet, notebook or desktop computer with Internet capability), jumped 41% year-over-year from $3.82 million to $5.42 million.
“Two years ago ... we were a very different business, largely selling fast-recovery solutions to the education sector, and we were really focused on renewing existing customer contracts versus new customer acquisition activity,” he said, adding that Absolute has since pivoted from focusing on the recovery of lost devices to protecting the data on those devices.
“Half our business now is done outside of education, in corporate, in health care, financial services, retail, oil and gas – verticals that were unknown two years ago and still largely undeveloped but now providing the impetus for growth.”
Absolute isn’t the only B.C. tech company to benefit from a change in strategy.
Carmanah Technologies Corp.’s (TSX:CMH) profit has jumped more than 1,200% from $983,000 in 2014 to $12.85 million in 2015.
“2015 was the second full year of a turnaround that began about three years ago for Carmanah,” CEO John Simmons told Business in Vancouver. “Our company, which has existed since 1996, had gone through quite an extended period of time, from 2008 to 2013, of declining revenues and operating losses, and we and our current management and board came together to effect a turnaround in 2013.”
The Victoria-based company specializes in LED signals and solar-powered lighting.
And like Absolute, Carmanah doesn’t have to rely on employees based only in Vancouver for it to be successful, Simmons said.
“We’re able to attract some really interesting talent, especially technical and salespeople, who are often anxious to escape the high real estate values of Vancouver,” he said. “So our very talented people have managed to attract other highly talented people and they’re all working together in a very engaged way and we’re achieving some success.”
Sidney’s AXYS Technologies, which won the marine industry award, works on finding solutions for.... see more
EcoStar acknowledges Island’s greenest businesses
The Island’s top green and environmentally friendly businesses were honoured Nov. 10 at the 2016 EcoStar Awards at the Laurel Point Inn.
A full house of 135 got a glimpse into the steps Island businesses are taking to improve their environmental performance and reduce their carbon footprint.
“The biggest part of the night and what really stands out about the event is it brings out those stories of local businesses who are working to make a difference within their own businesses and we get to learn a lot about what the winners have done to make changes and what impact that has,” said Jill Doucette, chief executive of Synergy Enterprises, whose non-profit arm — the Synergy Sustainability Institute — organizes the awards.
There were 17 winners. Doucette said Victoria’s Finest at Sea Seafood stood out as an example of what many companies discover when they turn their hand to improving environmental performance.
“That company found that by tackling these sustainability issues there was some real cost-saving advantages too,” she said. “FAS took the microscope to its operation and found lots of little tweaks within the operation that made a huge impact — by the end of the day they cut more than half of their water use. “So it’s good for the planet and good for their bottom line. Those kinds of stories are really exciting.”
Duncan’s Blue Roots Farm, started by Daniel Adelman and Courtney Edwards in 2015, was named eco-entrepreneur of the year for its farming methods.
Part of the running of the farm is raising steelhead trout and circulating nutrient rich water over plant roots. The roots take in the nutrients and grow greens and herbs in vertical towers.
The closed-loop ecosystem uses 98 per cent less water than traditional agriculture and more productive .
Sidney’s AXYS Technologies, which won the marine industry award, works on finding solutions for renewable energy projects and in so doing plays a role in making clean energy accessible and affordable for more people.
The company has taken steps to further reduce its own environmental impact, by installing motion-sensing lights in all bathrooms, making all company events zero-waste and serving local food only, improving recycling sorting stations and removing individual trash cans from employees' desks to encourage waste diversion.
Doucette said most of the companies that won awards don’t take on environmental projects with the idea of luring new customers, but it can happen. “They do find the consumer is changing and is really receptive to learning more about what businesses are doing behind the scenes to be more responsible,” she said.
2016 Eco Star Award Winners
- Greenest Office: Monk Office
- Greenest Retail Store: Inspire Hair Design
- Small Restaurant 1-25 Employees: Habit Coffee
- Large Restaurant 25+ Employees: Big Wheel Burger, Gateway Village
- Manufacturing Excellence: Studio Robazzo
- The Eco-Preneur of the Year: Blue Roots Farm
- Technology Excellence: Carmanah Technologies
- Experiential Tourism: Eagle Wing Tours
- Lodging & Accomodations: Parkside Hotel
- Leadership In Construction: Bernhardt Contracting
- Water Conservation & Stewardship: Finest at Sea Seafood Producers
- Marine Industry: AXYS Technologies
- Food Security: Haliburton Farm
- Climate Action: Orca Spirit Adventures
- Social Impact: Pacific Rim College
- Waste Management: Big Wheel Burger
- Community Environmental Leadership: Inn at Laurel Point
Carmanah Technologies Corporation announced its intention to divest its Power Division businesses. see more
VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 11, 2016) - Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX:CMH) ("the Company" or "Carmanah") today announced its intention to divest its Power Division businesses.
The Company's Power Division is comprised of two separate businesses:
- Off-Grid Power - The Company's off-grid power business, which operates under the trade name Go Power! provides solar power solutions for the recreational vehicle and industrial work truck markets through OEM and aftermarket channels. It is headquartered in Victoria, Canada.
- On-Grid Power - The Company's on-grid power business designs and builds ground mount and rooftop solar power plants for developers under the Carmanah Solar EPC Services trade name. It is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.
The Company has retained Canaccord Genuity Corp. to advise on the divestiture of Go Power! Separately, Alexander Capital Group Inc. has been retained to advise on the divestiture of Carmanah Solar EPC.
"These divestitures will enable us to focus on our vision to become the global leader in signals and solar LED illumination for infrastructure," said John Simmons, CEO. "The proceeds of the divestitures will allow us to accelerate organic growth initiatives, make more substantive investments in innovation and support our continuing effort to acquire leading contenders in the signals space."
Carmanah's Power Division represented approximately 35% of Carmanah's revenue in the nine months ended September 30, 2016. In the third quarter, the Company will be accounting for the division as a discontinued operation. As such Carmanah's preliminary third quarter results, which are to be released by separate news release, will also exclude this segment.
At this point, there can be no assurance that Carmanah will be successful in negotiating divestiture transactions for either or both of these businesses on acceptable terms. Carmanah does not expect to provide further updates on the divestiture process until such time as binding agreements relating to one or both of these divestitures are executed and delivered.
About Carmanah Technologies Corporation
Carmanah designs, develops and distributes a portfolio of products focused on energy optimized LED solutions for infrastructure. Since 1996, we have earned a global reputation for delivering durable, dependable, efficient and cost-effective solutions for industrial applications that perform in some of the world's harshest environments. We manage our business within three reportable segments: Signals, Illumination and Power. The Signals segment includes serves the Airfield Ground Lighting, Aviation Obstruction, Offshore Wind, Marine and Traffic markets. The Illumination segment provides solar powered LED outdoor lights for municipal and commercial customers. The Power segment serves both On-Grid and Off-Grid verticals.
This release may contain forward-looking statements. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "expects," "plans," "estimates," "intends," "believes," "could," "might," "will" or variations of such words and phrases. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of Carmanah or Sabik to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to: our ability to become a worldwide leader in the marine aids to navigation industry, the potential growth of the off shore wind safety market or our ability to participate in any growth and other general uncertainties that may impact actual outcomes. These forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs but given the uncertainties, assumptions and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements or information. Carmanah disclaims any obligation to update, or to publicly announce, any such statements, events or developments except as required by law.
For additional information on these risks and uncertainties, see Carmanah's most recently filed Annual Information Form (AIF) and Annual MD&A, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the Company's website at www.carmanah.com. The risk factors identified in Carmanah's AIF and MD&A are not intended to represent a complete list of factors that could affect Carmanah.
Carmanah Technologies Corporation
Chief Financial Officer/Corporate Secretary
Carmanah used the EGP to support its acquisition of the Sabik Group of Companies see more
15% more Canadian SMEs use EDC export guarantee in 2015 for international sales
Export Guarantee Program surpasses CAD 1 billion mark
More than 630 small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) used Export Development Canada’s (EDC) Export Guarantee Program(link is external)(EGP) in 2015, a 15 per cent increase over 2014.
The increase was driven, in part, by an evolution in the EGP’s level of coverage. Beginning in late 2014, EDC began guaranteeing up to 100 per cent of a bank’s loan to a Canadian SME, up from the previous limit of 75 per cent. As a result, the program surpassed CAD 1 B in annual volume for the first time in 2015.
“The EGP is a difference maker because it makes it much easier for banks to say ‘yes’ to the financing requests of Canadian SMEs,” said Bruce Dunlop, Vice President, Commercial Markets and Small Business, EDC. “Regular access to financing is critical for SMEs to grow their business through trade, but global economic conditions continue to challenge domestic lenders when they consider providing trade financing. The EGP addresses the needs of the SMEs and their banks, so everybody wins.”
The EGP is a risk-sharing guarantee that EDC provides to the bank of an exporter. It assures the bank that a percentage of a loan it provides to an exporter will be repaid. With the guarantee in place, banks can feel more comfortable lending larger amounts to Canadian companies, whether they are already exporters or planning to become exporters. This is especially important for SMEs that need financing to grow and meet the demands of new orders.
“The rise in demand from Canada’s SMEs speaks to the versatility and flexibility of the EGP, which can be tailored to meet a small company’s needs,” added Dunlop. “The EGP is designed to meet the unique needs of SMEs when they want to break into new markets or purchase new equipment to take on important orders, or to support their international investments.”
The following examples illustrate how EDC’s EGP has helped grow their businesses:
Carmanah, a Vancouver-based manufacturer of industrial-grade LED lighting, used the EGP to support its acquisition of the Sabik Group of Companies. “For a small Canadian company it would have been quite difficult, or perhaps impossible, to arrange and structure debt on foreign assets without the support of EDC's EGP program. Their guarantee allowed our small Canadian company to complete a very important acquisition, and helped us become a leading worldwide contender in marine navigational aids and offshore wind marking(link is external) and safety schemes - two important clean technology industries." - John Simmons, CEO, Carmanah.
JSS Medical Research(link is external), a Montreal-based global contract research organization, used the EGP to get the financing it needed to meet the demands of increasingly larger contracts: "JSS Medical Research was expanding both domestically in Canada and internationally in Latin America, the US and Europe. EDC stepped up by providing guarantees to our financial partners. They became a partner to JSS and now that we continue to grow into the Asia/ Pacific region, this collaboration is key to us in order to achieve continued growth.” - Dr John S. Sampalis, President and CEO, JSS Medical Research, and founder of the company.
Canada Pooch(link is external), a Toronto-based manufacturer of outerwear for pets, used the EGP to facilitate a jump in its working capital needs after experiencing rapid growth. “EDC's EGP helped our bank provide us with a higher level of financing, which was a critical step in allowing us to take our business to the next level. As we move forward, EDC's EGP program will enable us to take on new projects and opportunities to drive continued growth." - Jacqueline Prehogan, President and CEO, Canada Pooch.
EDC is Canada’s trade finance agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities. As a profitable Crown corporation that operates on commercial principles, EDC works together with private and public-sector financial institutions to create greater capacity for Canadian companies to engage in trade and investment.
For more information about how we can help your company, call us at
1-888-434-8508 or visit www.edc.ca(link is external).
SpokespersonSimon ForsythExport Development Canada(613) 598-3852