The prime minister, François Legault, wants to see Quebec become a hub in the production of trains for “the Americas” in the absence of being able to become a player on a global scale.
He made the remarks while the business of rolling French Alstom has confirmed on Monday its interest in acquiring the transportation division of Bombardier, which produces trains, subway trains and trams.
Sunday, the “Wall Street Journal” has advanced the figure of $ 7 billion (US $ 9.3 billion $ CAN) to resume the activities of the flagship québec business.
“The ideal, what I would like is to have a world champion. But in the absence of having a world champion, if there was a champion for the Americas, it means plants in the Americas, which are managed by Quebec, […] if we get it, it’s an acquisition, ” said François Legault in a press conference, Monday, in Montreal.
Bombardier Transportation employs around 1,000 people in Quebec, La Pocatière and Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, in particular, in addition to the providers.
“It is sure that in all the discussions that we have had with the Caisse de dépôt, with the potential buyers [Bombardier Transportation], not only protecting the jobs of La Pocatière and Saint-Bruno, but to protect the development potential of these sectors, it was at the heart of discussions,” said François Legault.
He also voluntarily left doubt about the identity of future shareholders of Alstom following a possible transaction relating to Bombardier Transportation. According to the “Wall Street Journal”, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which holds 32.5 % of Bombardier Transportation, has agreed to sell his shares to Alstom in exchange for a stake in the French company.
“Remains to be seen who will be the shareholders of Alstom, so give me a few hours yet,” said François Legault.