Photo of the mega fish farm pond array in Port Said, Egypt
Photo by Solmax

Well, this is a surprise! Montreal-based Solmax, which was already a global leader in geosynthetics when it acquired GSE Environmental in December 2017, has engineered another significant acquisition. The company has announced an agreement with Koninklijke Ten Cate (the Netherlands) on the acquisition of TenCate Geosynthetics, a well known and very active player in the global geosynthetics market.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Solmax’s long-term financial partners, are investors in the transaction.


“This is the joining of two leading companies in their respective segments, recognized globally for the quality of their products and services, that are bringing their geosynthetic products together under the same roof for the first time,” says Jean-Louis Vangeluwe, President of Solmax, in the release. “This transaction will increase their products’ use in civil engineering, road infrastructure, hydraulic and environmental works…. The size, capacity for innovation, geographic reach and resources of the new organization will further enhance the better position of geosynthetics as important products in the construction sector. This is a game changer in the history of geosynthetic manufacturers that develop lesser-known engineered products that are essential to protecting the environment and developing infrastructure projects.”

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Wally Moore, CEO of TenCate Geosynthetics, adds that, “We both are among the leaders in our respective segments and now we will join together to create a stronger global leader in geosynthetics. The long-term vision of Solmax around sustainability aligns very well with that of TenCate Geosynthetics.”

Geosynthetic Clay Liner Installation Image from Solmax
Photo by Solmax


Solmax’s historical growth has been dramatic. Who could have foreseen a small distributor evolving through the project chain (distribution, installation, manufacture) to become over 40 years the biggest geosynthetic manufacturing entity in the world? It has had a lot to do with the culture of trust established by Mr. Jacques Côté, the company’s founder. Solmax’s teams have steadily produced internal experts who have been given the room to develop roadmaps to new markets and business lines. They have developed manufacturing innovations, embraced new technologies, and all in all felt empowered to seek growth.

It’s a magnificent business success story.

Fonds de solidarité FTQ has certainly been part of it, having invested in these developments over a quarter century.
“We are proud to invest in the company’s international growth,” says Janie Béïque, President and CEO of Fonds de solidarité FTQ. “Thanks to founder Jacques Côté’s vision, CEO Jean-Louis Vangeluwe’s leadership, and the expertise of its teams, Solmax is proof that protecting the environment and good quality jobs can go hand-in-hand. Following the acquisition of TenCate, Solmax will offer even more innovative products that shield the soil, water and air from toxins and pollutants.”
Mr. Côté remains Executive Chairman of the Board of Solmax. He also has been an instrumental figure in the establishment of the IGS Foundation, which supports the next generation of engineers who will advance geosynthetics.

The financial terms and conditions of the transaction have not been disclosed. The transaction is not officially closed but is expected to be concluded in the second quarter of 2021, following regulatory approval. The release also notes that the agreement is also subject to completion by TenCate Geosynthetics of applicable employee participation procedures, including consultation with its works council in the Netherlands.

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