Lion Electric CEO Marc Bédard has caused some confusion in the stock markets in recent days when a holding company he controls sold shares in the company… which he does not own. .
• Also read: Quebecers loan Lion Electric $98 million more
The company in question sold 500,000 shares of Lion for $3 each last Wednesday, raising $1.5 million.
In the days following the deal, the electric vehicle maker’s shares, which trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, plunged nearly 10%. The stock closed at $2.75 on Tuesday.
However, according to Lion, the shares sold do not belong to Mr. Bédard, but to Camile Chartrand. The latter, a former manager of Autobus Corbeil, founded Lion in 2008 with Marc Bédard.
Camile Chartrand Photo from the SADC Achigan-Montcalm website
“He retired a few years ago and is no longer active in the company, but of course he was still a shareholder. He’s in his 70s now, so he’s started to exploit his fortune, if we can put it that way,” Lion spokesman Patrick Gervais told the Journal on Tuesday.
Because Mr Chartrand’s shares are held in a numbered company controlled by Mr Bédard, he had to “sign off” to formalize the transaction, Mr Gervais explained. This is a practice that is not very common for a public company.
“Everything was done properly and properly […] and validated by lawyers,” he added.
According to him, Mr. Chartrand still holds an unspecified number of Lion shares.
In SEDI, the public system where insider transactions are published, we can read this clarification on the transaction: “Mr. Bédard has not sold any shares and will not receive any proceeds from the sale.
“The Last Thing He Wants To Do”
“Mr. Bédard, the last thing he wants to do right now is [vendre] actions, I can tell you that. On the contrary, he invests much more [dans Lion] that he can take advantage of it. The company is doing well at the moment and we believe in it enormously,” said Patrick Gervais.
At the end of the transaction, announced Tuesday on QUB Radio, the company controlled by Marc Bédard owns nearly 26 million shares of Lion, about 11.5% of the total. By examining the company register, we learn that Mr. Chartrand holds at least 25% of the voting rights of the numbered company, compared to more than 50% for Mr. Bédard.
Lion’s largest shareholder is Montreal conglomerate Power Corporation, which owns a 35% stake in the company.
Recall that Investissement Québec (IQ), Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Fondaction CSN Lion Electric lent $98 million in July.
In addition, IQ holds a 0.7% stake in the company’s share capital.
Finally, in 2021, Quebec and Ottawa Lion provided joint support of $100 million to build its battery factory in Mirabel.
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