June 13, 2017, Toronto - Eastway Fire and Rescue Vehicles has acquired competitor Arnprior Fire Trucks Corp. (AFTC) for nominal cash and the obligation to complete outstanding fire-truck contracts.
By Laura King
Arnprior owner Plaintree Systems Inc. said in a press release that Eastway also agreed to lease the company’s building to carry on the business for one year. Plaintree president David Watson said Arnprior couldn’t compete in the Ontario fire-truck market.
“AFTC was never able to maintain the volume of trucks required to attain profitability,” Watson said.
“Combining Eastway and AFTC operations should allow Eastway to reach the sales volumes required.”
Arnprior announced three new contracts on May 30 – pumpers for Carleton Place and Stratford, and a tanker for Kahnawake.
Arnprior acquired Seagrave’s Carleton Place truck-manufacturing plant in 2011; Seagrave had bought Almonte Fire Trucks in 2003.
Eastway has had its own challenges; the company closed its Carleton Place plant in November 2015 and re-opened in September 2016. A notice on the building indicated the company owed $12,000 in rent and the landlord was seeking $500,000 in damages.
Eastway had revealed in February 2015 that Andrew Armstrong had replaced Neil Greene as company president. That announcement came two months after Gibraltar Foundation, an international private-equity group, invested an undisclosed amount in Eastway. The small, Canadian manufacturing company was self-funded until that point. Under that deal, Gibraltar acquired Eastway, making it a separate, stand-alone company with its own management and board of directors.