CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Charlottetown-based Diversified Metal Engineering (DME) could be saved.
The receivers – Alvarez and Marsal Canada Inc. – told The Guardian Tuesday there is a “good chance’’ somebody will buy the company.
The sale process calls for the receiver to contact potential purchasers as known to the receiver or as identified to the receiver.
The person speaking on behalf of Alvarez and Marsal Canada, who declined to give his name, added in the meantime some employees will be hired back to complete unfinished projects.
Receivership was granted Monday by the Supreme Court of P.E.I., leaving the future of roughly 140 employees up in the air.
The company, first incorporated in 1991, had been an impressive success story over the years, building a wide range of products, including bio extractors, marine scrubbers and cyclone separators, with most of its completed projects in the craft brewing industry.
Here is a quick look at Diversified Metal Engineering, which has gone into receivership:
- Incorporated in 1991, DME became recognized as a leader in custom design and fabrication of equipment for brewing, BioTech, BioEnergy and water treatment
- DME has been operating in 90,000 square feet of production space in Canada, China and India
- DME’s brewing division, DME Brewing Solutions, has completed projects for more than 1,200 craft brewing customers globally
DME was operating two brewing systems manufacturers: Newlands Systems in Abbotsford, B.C., and DME Brewing Solutions in Charlottetown. Between them, the companies have built more than 1,600 breweries in 70 countries.
The company has also been known for its philanthropy, donating $100,000 to the QEH Foundation over several years through staff payroll deductions, a matching corporate gift and an internal fundraising challenge.
DME also benefited from considerable provincial assistance over the years.
Economic Development and Tourism Minister Chris Palmer says his department has provided $1.9 million in grants to the company since 1994.
“So, we’ve been around supporting them for a while,’’ he says, adding the company does not owe the province any money.
He says word of receivership was a surprise with DME having long been a successful company with no signs of slowing down.
“We just found out over the weekend,’’ says Palmer.
“We are very concerned with the potential job loss there. What we want to do is help the employees.’’
Palmer says his department is “open to everything’’, including offering support to bringing in a new owner to keep the business going.
Richard Gallant, director of Skills P.E.I. with the Department of Workplace and Advanced Learning, says the majority of jobs at DME were good-paying, skilled positions, including welders and engineers.
Gallant does not know what went wrong to result in the company falling into receivership.
“This has been very much a surprise to the department and to Skills P.E.I.,’’ he says.
“We certainly have referenced Diversified Metal as a real success story…Our concern at this point is primarily with the workers, that they can get back into a job as quickly as possible.’’
Gallant says Skills P.E.I. will offer transition support services to help displaced workers to look at what programs and services are available to support re-entry into the workforce as quickly as possible.
He adds Skills P.E.I. has provided more than $250,000 over the last six years on various employment training programs to support the development of DME’s workforce.