French aerospace companies to set up shop in Montreal

A pair of French companies announced at the Paris Air Show that they will be establishing businesses in Montreal. The aeronautics parts distributor AHE announced that it will make Montreal its North American base of operations. The company is a parts distributor for manufacturers in the civil and military aeronautics and space industry. And Sogeclair Group, an international high-tech solutions developer with a large client base in the aeronautics sector will open a subsidiary office in Montreal.

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Montreal has attracted foreign investors to the city’s aerospace industry through Montreal International, a public-private non-profit organization. Two French aeronautics companies, AHE and Sogeclair Aerospace, announced at the Paris Air Show that they will open facilities in Montreal.

The president of AHE, Gerard Ranzato called Montreal “one of the world’s major aeronautics hubs” which will give his company access to the qualified workers it needs. It is also a “highly strategic” location for serving the Canadian and US markets, he said.

Quebec’s minister of finance, Nicolas Marceau, said that his government will “facilitate its establishment” and help it develop its North American market quickly.

The company will hire approximately twenty employees in the next three years at the Montreal facility. According to its release, the company acts an intermediary between parts manufacturers and aeronautics companies, facilitating the distribution of large volumes of parts. AHE represents more than 450 parts suppliers, and it numbers Eurocopter, Airbus, Dassault, Thales, Zodiac Aerospace, Avic and Sogerma among its clients.

The CEO of Toulouse-based  Sogeclair Group, Philippe Robardey, made the announcement that his company will establish the Canadian subsidiary, saying that it would bring the company closer to its clients. Montreal is also an “access point” to the US market, which makes it “attractive” for market development with the major US players. The company will recruit approximately fifty employees in Montreal over the next three years.

Quebec’s aerospace industry was ranked sixth worldwide by sales in 2012, behind the United States, France, the UK, Germany and Japan. There are more than 42,000 employed by contractors, equipment manufacturers and about 200 SMEs in the aerospace sector. Sales exceeded $12 billion in 2012.

Helping to attract AHE and Sogeclair to Montreal was the public-private non-profit investment development group, Montreal International. The organization has helped to attract $9.4 billion in foreign direct investments to Montreal since 1996.

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