After years of strong growth, Winnipeg-based Controlled Environments Limited (Conviron) has announced it’s joining the Madison Industries group of companies.
“Early on, my dad and I agreed that when CEL reached a stage where it exceeded our family’s capacity to seize all the opportunities in front of us, we would put the business in the hands of someone who could,” said Steve Kroft, executive chair of the CEL Group of Companies, which comprises Conviron’s Canadian, American, European and Australian operations.
Founded in 1964 by Steve’s father, Richard Kroft, Conviron specializes in plant growth chambers, walk-in rooms and custom controlled environments for plant research, cannabis production and plant-derived pharmaceutical applications. The CEL Group acquired Argus Controls, a Surrey, B.C.-based supplier of automation systems for growing facilities, in 2013.
“With so many tailwinds driving our business — climate change, breakthroughs in science, and overwhelming stress on the world’s food production capacity — the opportunities for CEL and the demands on our business have never been greater,” Kroft said. “Now is the time to accelerate growth, and in Madison, we have found the perfect home for CEL.”
Conviron will continue to be headquartered in Winnipeg, where nearly 200 of its more than 300 employees are currently located. John Proven will remain president and CEO of Conviron, which plans to pursue aggressive growth strategies for plant science and production and advancing the technology and innovative SaaS portfolio of Argus Controls.
Headquartered in Chicago, Madison Industries owns dozens of companies that generate more than US$10 billion in revenue, including businesses in the HVAC, indoor air quality and filtration markets.
“We are honoured that the Kroft family chose Madison to carry on the amazing mission and culture that Steve and Richard Kroft have created,” said Madison Industries CEO Larry Gies. “CEL’s role in feeding the world, improving human health, and protecting the environment truly resonated with us. John Proven and the CEL team impressed us with their passion and vision for the future. We are looking forward to investing and growing in Winnipeg and Surrey with the passionate Conviron and Argus teams.”
MLT Aikins was pleased to act as counsel to Conviron and its shareholders on its sale to Madison Industries. Conviron’s legal team included Steven Kohn, Pamela Hilderman, Colin Findlay, Steven Dressler, Mike Ziesmann, Desiree Katz, Shandra Czarnecki, Danielle Graff and Nigel Thompson.
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