Bike manufacturer Argon 18 has raised new capital that will allow it to capitalize on the appearance of its first Tour de France cycling team later this summer.
BDC Capital and the Fonds régionaux de solidarité FTQ, a regional, tax-advantaged retirement savings fund that invests in companies that help create jobs in Quebec, have invested in a Montreal bike maker.
Argon 18 first received funding from the Fonds locaux de solidarité FTQ in 2002.
“Behind each Argon 18 bike and rider on the BORA-Argon team at the Tour de France, there are Québec workers, engineers, assemblers, 3D creators and mechanics, not to mention accountants, salespeople, technicians, writers, designers, analysts, packers and Web and social media experts. Investing in the international growth of local companies means investing in quality jobs right here at home,” said Luc Pinard, president and CEO of the Fonds régionaux de solidarité FTQ.
Argon 18, which is co-sponsoring its first team at the Tour de France this year, employs 35 in Québec, most of whom work at its Montréal head office.
While none of the parties disclosed the size of the investment, Argon 18 Founder and President Gervais Rioux
said it would help support the company's growth.
“Given our first-time participation in the Tour de France and the unprecedented international visibility it will give our company, we have to capitalize on the momentum to solidify our leadership in the market by continuing our drive for technological innovation in bicycle design, in our marketing techniques and in managing business intelligence,” Rioux said. “We are very fortunate to have partners who understand our vision and want to help us reach new heights.”
The BORA-Argon 18 team has been posting excellent results in the last few months, demonstrating that its riders are in top form as the Tour de France approaches: 1st Tour du Qatar (6th stage), 1st Giro Del Trentino (1st stage, team time trial), 1st Bayern-Rundfahrt (1st and 3rd stage), to name a few.
Since Olympian Gervais Rioux founded the company in a small shop in Québec City, Argon 18 has grown into an international company that sells bikes in 70 countries.
A subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), BDC Capital offers a full spectrum of specialized financing and investment solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their full growth potential. With more than $1.6 billion under management, BDC Capital takes a strategic, patient approach to nurture companies’ development over the long term. From venture capital and equity, to growth and transition capital, its team of over 100 experienced, local professionals partner with entrepreneurs to identify and meet their needs on flexible terms. Some of the sectors in which they specialize include IT, industrial/clean/energy technology and healthcare.
An integral part of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ network, the Fonds régionaux de solidarité FTQ actively participate in the economic development of the regions of Québec. As of March 31, 2015, the Fonds régionaux’s portfolio comprised 382 partner companies and total investments $276.5 million, bringing the total number of jobs created, maintained or protected to more than 16,500.