FilSpec: the missing link of the Monterey group
Although the FilSpec spinning mill was sold this summer to the Monterey group in Drummondville, the name will remain prominent in operations and on the wall of the Burlington Street factory.
Share October 2, 2020 Updated October 3, 2020 at 9:25 am Share FilSpec: the missing link of the Monterey group
Jacynthe Nadeau La Tribune The purchase of the Sherbrooke spinning mill FilSpec by the Monterey group poses the missing link in the production chain of the Drummondville company, specializing in technical protective fabrics and which supplies customers as important as Hydro- Quebec or National Defense.
“It becomes a unit that is integrated into a production system, so that now we start from the fiber to a final product that is presented directly to clothing producers,” explains Gilles Desmarais, president of the Monterey group.
The transaction, which La Tribune reported on July 22, went smoothly a few days later. Upon returning from the construction vacation, the Burlington Street spinning mill, owned by a workers' co-operative for 16 years, had passed into Monterey's hands on a unique mode of ownership. The cooperative, for its part, has entered into dissolution proceedings (see other text).
There were departures from the management team, around 20 layoffs and “some restructuring”, in the words of Mr. Desmarais. And the 80 or so employees still on the job are on a work-sharing program.
“The impact that there is for workers is more related to COVID,” said Mr. Desmarais. The market has slowed down due to the pandemic. “
According to him, there is no reason why we cannot maintain the same level of employment when the economy returns to a more normal pace. “You don't buy a business to close or downsize it, it's to make it prosper,” he says.
Monterey was already a FilSpec customer before purchasing the company. In the short term, Gilles Desmarais intends to pursue activities and retarget his current markets and he is considering a medium-term growth plan.
The FilSpec name will remain, alongside Textiles Monterey, Lincoln Fabrics and Texonic, bringing the group's number of production sites to five, in Drummondville, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Ontario and Alabama.
“We're all part of the Monterey group. Each unit is independent and interdependent. Obviously, to compete in global markets, you have to be integrated and our biggest competitors are all that way. “
Gilles Desmarais intends to continue the research & development efforts which have enabled FilSpec to continue with high added value yarns. “It is also in the lineage of the group. They are the yarn part and have made the fabrics that are developed with these innovative yarns. With the source, we further improve the efficiency of the group. It is obvious that we will be able to develop in the medium term, for example, interesting products for National Defense, ”he analyzes, stressing that Textiles Monterey is the main supplier of military prints to the Canadian army.
Does it also intend to continue the development that Filspec had initiated in recent years on the European markets and in Latin America?
“The strength of the Monterey group at the moment is North America,” says Desmarais. I'm not closing the doors on the outside, but even though the Monterey Group still has two, three, four customers outside of North America, our target market is the North American market. “