A personal view of Knowlton, Quebec, the Eastern Townships most beautiful village.

Emballages Knowlton Merges With US Firm
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The rather overbearing LEK building on Knowlton Road has a fairly cold character but behind these doors over 700 people find employment in Lac Brome.One of Knowltons largest employers recently announced a merger with the American firm Tri Tech Industies of Lynchburg, Virginia. Tri Tech Industries also packages over-the-counter beauty products, deodorants and skin care products.

According to corporate press releases: "The two companies plan to grow by sharing respective strengths in such areas as technology, engineering, supply chain operations excellence and product innovation, thereby enhancing the ability to meet evolving customer and industry demands. The new entity will thus be positioned to expand its business with existing customers and add new, targeted customers, further bolstering its position as one of North America's largest independent
manufacturers of personal care product solutions."

The news can only be good for the economy in Lac Brome as stronger economic growth of LEK looms on the horizon. If the new partnerships increases the client base of the businesses then more workers will be needed in the downtown facilities and more people will move to Knowlton. With all the news of recent layoffs around the province at various multi-national corporations it is good to see a story of progress and success. Mergers and acquisitions have received increasing attention in the past few years. Mergers, acquisitions and buyouts involving Canadian companies generate interest both locally and nationally in the news because of a concern that merged companies will relocate corporate headquarters and/or reduce employment, community involvement and investment. While this concern reflects a possible downside side of mergers the other side of the coin can mean that mergers may lead to more competitive companies. A more competitive company can mean the company has more money to help improve the local business environments. When companies merge, they will often create larger operations that are better able to invest in our community resources and our community could use just such investments.

Of course, there will always be trepidation whenever companies get bigger as shareholders are always insisting that the profits flourish. The corporate press release further stated: "Employees of both organizations, at every level, will play a major role in the coming months as this new entity evolves and strives to optimize its synergies in manufacturing best practices and in product innovation in order to offer significant value to its current and future customer base." To some more jaded individuals this statement could be "corporate speak" for saying: "Our company is getting bigger and we'll be laying off people from both companies so the ones at the top make more money" but unfounded ideas of negative conspiracy theorists are not welcome in the blooming Knowlton economic forecast and these Gloomy-Gusses should maintain their conspiracy theories for untangling the Anna Nicole Smith affair!

With nearly 700 people working at Les Emballages Knowlton, one of the largest single employers in the region, the strength and growth of the company is a necessity to the stability of our community. We look forward to LEK bringing in more business so they can help improve the downtown core of Knowlton which could use some tender loving care and, if the money were available, a minor facelift. Perhaps a bigger, stronger and richer Emballages Knowlton will be able to get on board with the town to beautify the downtown since the LEK building is such an imposing structure right on the main street.

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