Garda World: Quebec is investing $300 million in a Dubai-based company

The Legault government is investing $300 million in Garda World, a Quebec company whose executives, including CEO Stéphan Crétier, are half expatriate.

• Also read: $900 million acquisitions for a new Garda subsidiary

• Also read: GardaWorld boss invests $60 million in Victoriaville businesses

“We sat down with Stéphan Crétier. We created a plan and said, “We want you to not only consolidate your headquarters here in Montreal, but also increase the headcount, particularly on the cybersecurity side,” committed today protocol Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon.

Around 500 people currently work at Garda’s headquarters, which is located in the former headquarters of shoe giant Aldo.


The Montreal headquarters of Garda World, which was formerly shoe giant Aldo.  Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said on Wednesday that thanks largely to help from Quebec, the number of staff employed there could double in five years.

With kind approval

The Montreal headquarters of Garda World, which was formerly shoe giant Aldo. Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said on Wednesday that thanks largely to help from Quebec, the number of staff employed there could double in five years.

Larger headquarters in Quebec

“We can see maybe doubling that in five years,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

The $300 million in aid comes in the form of preferred stock, a financial instrument halfway between equity and loans. The government will “modulate” the interest rate paid by Garda according to the number of jobs created, the minister said.

Financing an acquisition

In the near future, public funds will help Garda to acquire the American company Arca, which specializes in particular in the manufacture of “note recyclers”, digital devices that allow banks and retailers to quickly recycle cash.

The Garda subsidiary founded in February, called Sesami, into which Arca is to be integrated, has an office in Montreal, but most employees and managers are in Texas and Sweden.

“The location of the headquarters [de Sesami] is not yet certain, “said Garda spokeswoman Isabelle Panelli today.

Recall that Quebec last year passed a decree providing for a $310 million loan to Garda to help the company acquire British security giant G4S. However, Garda was pulled out from under its feet by the American Allied Universal, whose main shareholder is the Caisse de dépôt, which aroused the anger of Mr. Crétier.

A LETTER FROM TAX

In January, our Bureau of Investigation revealed that Garda received a letter from Revenu Québec in September 2021, asking him to provide several documents related to his big boss’s compensation and expenses. He has been living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates for several years.

“As for Mr Crétier personally, we were not aware of that,” Pierre Fitzgibbon said today, apparently unaware that the letter was addressed directly to Garda.

“It’s clear that we make sure companies are compliant with Quebec and Canadian tax regulations,” he said.

Garda world in brief

  • Income 2021: $4.1 billion
  • Net Loss 2021: 150 million dollars
  • 30,000 customers
  • 122,000 employees

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