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Industrial Equipment Manufacturing continues its transition to full employee ownership with $3M help from BDC Capital

VANCOUVER, July 13, 2020—Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (IEM) of Surrey, B. C. received a three million dollar working capital injection from BDC Capital’s Growth & Transition Capital division before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. It came after the buy out of its retiring president and CEO, John Hards, as part of the company’s ongoing transition to full employee ownership. IEM was established in 2003 by Hards and partner Joe Wurz, who has now succeeded Hards at the helm. IEM designs and manufactures a broad range of equipment for the handling of bulk materials in mining, forestry, and oil and gas operations, as well as at shipping ports. Examples include conveyers, belt cleaners and debarkers. In recent years, the company has offered employees the opportunity to purchase shares with the long-term vision of becoming completely employee owned.

The bulk of BDC Capital’s financing has served to replenish IEM’s working capital after the stock repurchase, with another portion used to position the company for future growth opportunities. While the pandemic has slowed down projects, the company is still intent in particular on further penetrating the global forestry sector. BDC Capital’s solution takes the form of non-dilutive financing with personalized terms and flexibility measures.

“IEM is pleased to have BDC Capital provide a term loan with reasonable covenants,” says Joe Wurz, President of Industrial Equipment Manufacturing. “The additional capital will allow us to continue expanding our business while absorbing John Hards’ equity position.”

This financing was arranged by Randeep Janjua, Director, Growth & Transition Capital at BDC Capital’s Vancouver office. “IEM’s ability to engineer high-quality equipment for a wide variety of industries, coupled with its operational efficiency which ensures it remains cost competitive, has given it the resilience required to maintain a strong track record through economic cycles,” explains Janjua. “John Hards and Joe Wurz, together with their management team, have established solid foundations that should ensure the continued success of IEM as it moves towards a wholly employee-owned model.”

About Industrial Equipment Manufacturing

Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Ltd. (website www.iem.ca) designs and manufactures equipment typically used in mining, forestry and oil sands. In recent years the forestry component related to debarking, log handling and chip processing has grown considerably. Working with engineering consultants and customers, every piece of equipment is custom designed and manufactured in our shops. We have a 50,000-square-foot shop located in Surrey, BC and a 25,000-square-foot shop in Jakarta, Indonesia. Charles (Chuck) Walls has recently joined IEM as Vice President. Chuck has extensive experience in the pulp and paper business as well as in the chemical supply business.

About BDC Capital

BDC Capital is the investment arm of BDC, the bank for Canadian entrepreneurs. With over $3 billion under management, BDC Capital serves as a strategic partner to the country’s most innovative firms. It offers businesses a full spectrum of capital, from seed investments to growth equity, supporting Canadian entrepreneurs who have the ambition to stand out on the world stage. Visit bdc.ca/capital.



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