St. Marys, McInnis JV alters Northeast, Great Lakes cement supply chain

The parent companies of St. Marys Cement Inc., Toronto, and McInnis Cement Inc., Montreal plan to combine their production and distribution assets serving Canada and United States markets from the Atlantic seaboard to the Great Lakes. With respective stakes split 83 percent and 17 percent, their joint venture will be owned by Votorantim Cimentos International, the global investments platform of São Paulo-based Votorantim Cimentos S.A., and institutional investor Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) of Montreal, a McInnis Holding Limited Partnership shareholder.

The Challenger is one of three company ships moving material from the St. Marys Cement plant in Charlevoix, Mich. across or down Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. St. Marys has seven terminals in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ontario. PHOTO: VCNA/St. Marys Cement
Opened in 2017, McInnis Cement’s 2.2-million-tonne capacity plant in Port-Daniel–Gascons, Canada is the first new plant serving the Great Lakes region and points east in more than 50 years. Its deep water terminal accesses the St. Lawrence Seaway and Atlantic seaboard. PHOTO: Concrete Products

Officials expect the joint venture to significantly strengthen the combined operations’ strategic positioning through increased cement production capacity, presently 7.4 million tonnes, efficiency gains and an enhanced powder distribution. Votorantim Cimentos North America assets transitioning to the entity are cement mills in Bowmanville and St. Marys, Ontario; Detroit and Charlevoix, Mich., and Dixon, Ill.; extensive terminal network concentrated in the Great Lakes region; plus, CBM, Prairie Material and sister concrete and aggregates businesses in Ontario, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. McInnis Cement will contribute its Port-Daniel–Gascons plant in eastern Quebec, plus terminals in Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Providence, R.I. and Bronx, N.Y. Toronto-based VCNA is set to serve as the joint venture managing partner.

“The creation of this combined entity allows us to partner with a world-class player with an established presence—and strong track record of profitability—in North America to operate the McInnis Cement plant in Port-Daniel–Gascons, one of the most modern and efficient facilities in the region,” says CDPQ Executive Vice President Kim Thomassin. “This partnership will enable the plant to benefit from Votorantim Cimentos’ production, distribution and operational expertise to develop important markets, particularly in Eastern Canada, the Great Lakes region and the Northeastern Coast of the United States.”

“This transaction is aligned with Votorantim Cimentos’ portfolio management strategy, prioritizing investments in markets in which we already operate and enabling geographic expansion in locations with attractive growth prospects. McInnis Cement’s state-of-the-art plant and distribution network enable an efficient cost position in an attractive region, with access to new markets and lots of opportunities,” adds Votorantim Cimentos Global CEO Marcelo Castelli.

“We are excited about the prospects for Votorantim Cimentos in North America through this joint venture, and very much welcome the partnership with CDPQ, a leading institutional investor that shares our long-term approach to investing and our commitment to sustainable and best-in-class business practices,” affirms Votorantim S.A. CEO João Schmidt.

St. Marys Cement and McInnis Cement will continue business as usual operation pending approval of regulatory authorities and closing of a transaction forming their joint venture.