Laval, Québec-based electronic circuit manufacturing firm SMT Intelligence has received a $68-million investment from the Fonds de solidarité FTQ.
The Fonds FTQ is now a minority shareholder in SMT, which assembles electronic and electromechanical circuits for a variety of sectors. This investment marks the Fonds network’s fourth in SMT. According to a statement from the Fonds FTQ, the Fonds régionaux de solidarité FTQ Laval has invested in the company three times since 2018.
“SMT is well positioned to capitalize on the wave of major investments in the North American semiconductor industry and the strong demand for electronic modules.”
– Julie Morand, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
Founded in 2001 as SMT Hautes Technologies, the company specializes in electronics manufacturing and solutions that support the development cycle, including robotized mechanical assembly plants. Per its website, SMT manufactures printed circuit boards, which provide the structure and connections for electronic components.
SMT has three plants and claims its 10 assembly lines are fully automated by robotics and artificial intelligence. SMT has over 200 employees and more than 65 customers globally spanning healthcare, defence, automotive, aerospace, telecoms, and mining, among other sectors.
In September, SMT Hautes Technologies changed its name to SMT Intelligence. Stéphane Deschênes, the company’s president, founder and majority shareholder, said the new name “symbolizes our commitment to taking up new challenges and stimulating innovation in the electronics technology industry.”
The investment comes as countries around the world are looking to buttress their manufacturing of semiconductor chips amid pandemic-fuelled supply chain shortages and rising geopolitical tensions. Asia is currently the top producer of these chips, which power everything from cars to mobile phones.
A recent report published by the Semiconductor Industry Leadership and Innovation Canada Action Network (SILICAN), Canada’s semiconductor advocacy group, identified a number of ways that Canada could reinforce its chip sector. One recommendation in SILICAN’s report is to make more targeted investments in scaling Canadian firms.
Although SMT is not a semiconductor producer, its operations are situated in a similarly key segment of the electronics manufacturing sector. SMT manufactures more than eight million electronic circuits every year, and according to the Fonds FTQ, its use of technologies like robotics and AI allow the company to compete with Asian markets.
“With its state-of-the-art plants and equipment, SMT is well positioned to capitalize on the wave of major investments in the North American semiconductor industry and the strong demand for electronic modules,” Julie Morand, vice president of private equity and impact investments in the Fonds’ industries division, said in a statement.
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a capital development fund that invests in local businesses to further the economic development of all the regions of Québec. As of November 2022, it held $17.8 billion in net assets and had over 753,000 owner-shareholders.
Feature image courtesy of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ.