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Louis Garneau hopes to go public in 2 years, with assistance from e-bikes

Published April 8, 2021

Editor's note: A version of this article ran in the April issue of BRAIN.

SAINT-AUGUSTIN-DE-DESMAURES, Québec (BRAIN) — Just a few months after emerging from Canada's equivalent to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Louis Garneau Sports' president said his goal is to take the company public in two years. He's planning on e-bike sales providing a boost toward that goal.

"Just like an Olympic athlete, we needed a few years to prepare for this great race," said former Olympic cyclist Louis Garneau, the company's founder and president.

The company filed for creditor protection in March 2020, listing debts of CAN$32.7 million ($23.9 million at the time).

In December, the company announced that it would relaunch following an investment from a Montréal investment firm and support from a program created to help attract and retain businesses in Québec. Louis Garneau remains the majority shareholder.

"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.," Garneau said in March.

He said a priority has always been to keep the company owned by Canadians.

The bankruptcy did not affect Garneau's U.S. operations, which are based in Vermont.

Garneau said the company is profitable again and exceeded its sales budgets for its summer and winter apparel lines.

He said the plan developed with the company's new investors calls for Louis Garneau Sports to become "an important player on the global e-bike market."

"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," Garneau said.

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