I’m not at all concerned that the St. Hubert chicken restaurant chain’s recent acquisition by Ontario-based Cara is bad for Quebec. On the contrary, it’s probably good for us – or at least neutral.

Acquisitions are a two-way street. We can’t celebrate local success story Couche-Tard’s acquisition of Circle K on one hand and deride RONA’s sale to Lowe’s on the other.

In order to have a strong economy, Quebec needs to be a global player and part of that is being open to acquisitions. The Leger family did well for itself by selling St. Hubert – that in and of itself is a local success story. Based on comments like “the dumbest thing we could do is take our Toronto-centric viewpoint and transfer it to Quebec.” from Cara’s CEO, we can only be led to believe the St. Hubert brand will grow, which could and should mean more jobs for Quebecers, not less.

I won’t celebrate this development until we see how it plays out, but I certainly won’t condemn it either.

From The Gazette editorial: St-Hubert, barbecue chicken and Quebec Inc.

It’s also important to note that while interests outside Quebec have bought St-Hubert and RONA, there are conspicuous examples of the opposite trend, with companies here making major acquisitions abroad.For example, Saputo, founded in Montreal in 1954, is now one of the largest dairy processors in the world, with much of its expansion coming through mergers and acquisitions. In 2012, it bolstered its presence in the United States with its US $1.45-billion purchase of Morningstar Foods.

In an era of increasing consolidation and globalization, there is nothing unusual about such blockbuster transactions, whether the local company is buying or selling.

Header pic from: http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/swiss-chalet-owner-buying-quebec-based-st-hubert-chicken-chain-1.2839436

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