Businessman Louis Garneau has just sold the headquarters of the company named after him in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures.
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It was not without heartbreak that the 65-year-old former cyclist completed the real estate transaction in the last few days. Louis Garneau Sports will not leave the factory at 30 Rue des Grands-Lacs as it remains a tenant of the building. About a hundred people still work there.
ANNIE T. ROUSSEL/JOURNAL
“It’s like selling your house, but I own a lot of other buildings. We signed for the long term. It is a rental practice widely used by American companies. I’m not 30 years old and we got a terrible price. “I wouldn’t have accepted a move,” explains Mr. Garneau, who founded his company in his father’s garage in 1983.
The industrial building was sold for $13.1 million to 29-year-old real estate developer Henry Zavriyev, who in recent years has often been portrayed as an advocate of renovating for the elderly. The transfer tax amount is $310,843.
In 1988, Louis Garneau moved his team to Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures for the second time. The building was expanded again in 1993 and 1999.
“My first factory cost a million dollars. It was super big and I said to myself: This will be my castle or my grave! Business is like cycling. It’s a matter of success or failure,” he recalls.
Since clothing production ended and the last seamstresses left, the building has served primarily as a distribution center, although the founder’s office is still there.
Louis Garneau owned the François-Xavier Garneau house for 25 years and recently sold this listed building to Pierre Karl Péladeau.
“People ask me if it does anything to me. I’m reaching a phase in my life where I’m a little more distant. What is important is that business continues and runs well. I wanted to think about it at the time, but if it’s good for the company, I’m fine. Life is movement. I live well with that. When the lease ends, I’ll be damn old,” adds Louis Garneau.
The latter has been working closely with Champlain Financial Corporation since its descent into hell at the start of the pandemic.
Jean-Marc Jahoo is still CEO of Louis Garneau Sports while dedicating himself primarily to design and development. After a bit of prodding, we learn that he is no longer the majority shareholder in his company.
After a record year in 2022, the industry is currently experiencing some slowdown, even as the popularity of electric bikes continues.
“The entire bicycle industry has developed very well. We had the wind at our backs and this year is an ordinary year. Overstocks are stuck everywhere on the global market. There are sales everywhere and we are experiencing the same thing. »
Louis Garneau doesn’t want to retire, but the idea of listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange appears to have faded. “I’m running out of time in my career,” he concludes.
In Quebec, Henry Zavriyev has already purchased the Seigneurie de Salaberry Retirement Residence (RPA) in Saint-Jean-Baptiste. As of 2022, he was reported to be the owner of more than 1,000 rental homes in Montreal. Why is he buying a commercial building? It was not possible to speak to him at the moment.