Find experts in your area

Enter your business postal code or select your area

  1. West-Island 1675, Transcanadienne
    Suite 301
    Dorval, QC H9P 1J1
    514 426-2888
  2. Centre-Ouest 1350 Mazurette street
    Suite 400
    Montréal, QC H4N 1H2
    514 858-1018
  3. Grand Sud-Ouest 3617 rue Wellington
    Montréal, QC H4G 1T9
    514 765-7060
  4. Centre-Ville 630, Sherbrooke Ouest
    Suite 700
    Montréal, QC H3A 1E4
    514 879-0555
  5. Centre-Est 6224 rue Saint-Hubert
    Montréal, QC H2S 2M2
    514 723-0030
  6. Est-de-l'Île 7305, boulevard Henri-Bourassa Est
    Suite 200
    Montréal, QC H1E 2Z6
    514 494-2606
Find your area

CO7 Technologies: Building on existing assets

Entrepreneur’s corner | Dec 1, 2021

When they spotted a business opportunity, two partners founded their business by acquiring all of the assets and intellectual property for products designed for electrical networks, in which they had believed in for a long time. The team at PME MTL was the first to offer support, which created a ripple effect among other financial partners.

When Christian Cossette was Marketing & Engineering Director, Energy Canada at Schneider Electric, he often tried to convince the decision-makers to increase their investment in the switching, protection and control solutions used in residential and commercial power distribution. However, the French multinational chose to focus its efforts in other areas, to the point where it completely abandoned this product segment.

In light of this, Christian Cossette and François Laurence founded CO7 Technologies to acquire all of the assets and intellectual property for three of Schneider’s product lines: fused cutouts (Securupt), vacuum station breakers (Doghouse breakers) and Dead Tank station breakers. These products are essential components of electrical networks that provide power to homes and businesses. 

Snowball effect

PME MTL West-Island played a pivotal role in bringing this business opportunity to fruition. In the words of Christian Cossette : “What we accomplished would not have been possible without the help of their team. The required financing exceeded $3 million. Once they saw that we had the support of PME MTL, other players, like RBC, decided to back our project based on the presence of such a solid partner.”

That presence also took on unexpected significance once Christian Cossette completed the acquisition from Schneider in March of 2020 … only days before the pandemic hit. “A number of funders froze the funds at that point, and once again, PME MTL stepped in to support us at a crucial juncture.”

Québec is seen as a global leader in hydroelectricity, so a number of markets will have greater confidence in acquiring cutouts manufactured here rather than overseas.

The young startup had accumulated combined loans totalling $300,000. It is important to understand that the two entrepreneurs had some things going for them, including the fact that Securupt fused cutouts had proven their worth as part of the Québec electrical network for close to 30 years. According to Benoit Guillemette, Business Startup and Industrial Commissioner at PME MTL West-Island: “Right from the outset, CO7 enjoyed an enviable reputation thanks to the notoriety of its senior manager within the industry, his business dealings with Hydro-Québec (his largest client) and the lucrative contracts that were included in the transaction, among other things.”

A promising future

In light of this, it is no surprise that, in October 2021, PME MTL granted CO7 additional financing within the context of a development project involving polymer cutouts. “These types of products traditionally use ceramics for climates like ours. However, the majority of North American users have migrated toward polymer components, and we want to be able to offer a less expensive cutout that is still reliable and secure, beginning in the first quarter of 2022,” Christian Cossette explains.

Benoit Guillemette confirms : “In terms of exports, Québec is seen as a global leader in hydroelectricity, so a number of markets will have greater confidence in acquiring cutouts manufactured here rather than overseas. In addition, these types of superior-quality and highly resistant products are in keeping with sustainable development strategies. Finally, from an economic perspective, it will create more jobs here at home.”

In fact, once the transaction was concluded in March, all of the assets related to the three product lines, including the production equipment from two Schneider facilities in Brossard and Regensburg (Germany), were transported to the CO7 offices in Montréal’s West Island.

Global expansion

PME MTL also supports CO7 in its growth outside of Québec, for example by putting the Company in contact with international consultants and members of consulates.

These types of superior-quality and highly resistant products are in keeping with sustainable development strategies, and from an economic perspective, it will create more jobs here at home.

“We are delighted with the support we receive from PME MTL in this area, especially since more than 95% of our growth is international. In fact, their experts have not only opened countless doors for us around the world, but they have also introduced us to existing export programs,” Christian Cossette points out.

One indication that these efforts are already paying off is that CO7 expects to double its sales next year and reach $40 million within the next two or three years. As a result, its workforce will also have to grow significantly over that time, increasing from some 40 employees to 65.

_

CO7 Technologies is supported by PME MTL West-Island.

receive our exclusive content by e-mail