Canadian Manufacturing

Pair of acquisitions puts Quebec granite producer at the top of the pile

Based in Quebec City, Polycor transforms granite, marble and limestone into slabs, tiles, mosaics and landscaping items.



MONTREAL—Quebec’s Polycor Inc. says it has joined forces with two U.S. rivals to become the largest producer of marble and granite in North America, and one of the three biggest in the world.

Polycor said Sept. 16 it has purchased New Hampshire-based Swenson Granite Works and Vermont-based Rock of Ages for an undisclosed price.

“We’re going to be a unique company in our industry and able to bring the most comprehensive portfolio of stone to architects, building owners and cities,” Polycor CEO Patrick Perus said in an interview.

Polycor has targeted the construction market, Swenson’s retail and residential buyers, and Rock of Ages’ monument sector.

No layoffs or plant closures are planned.

Despite its increased size, Polycor will control just 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the fragmented North American stone market, ensuring that prices don’t increase, Perus said.

“We don’t have that much pricing power so for consumers it has no impact, just the fact that now they’re going to have access to a broader choice of materials.”

Swenson and Rock of Ages were founded around 1884. A century later, Swenson purchased Rock of Ages, one of the two largest producers of cemetery memorials in the U.S. and Canada.

Polycor, which will continue to be based in Quebec City, will have more than US$150 million in annual revenues of which 40 per cent comes from Polycor.

The deal is being financed by key members of the three companies along with Canadian private equity firm TorQuest Partners and Pennsylvania’s PNC Mezzanine Capital.

The ownership will be evenly split between the two countries.

Founded in 1987, Polycor will employ 800 workers at 30 quarries, 12 factories, seven stores and six offices in Canada and in the United States.

Polycor transforms granite, marble and limestone into slabs, tiles, mosaics and landscaping items.

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