McKay Métis Contracting LP Acquires Athabaska Corp. Assets for $21 Million

In a deal heralded as one of the first of its kind for Indigenous businesses, McKay Métis Contracting LP has agreed to acquire the assets of Athabaska Corp. and its subsidiaries, also known as Roughrider International.

Roughrider is an energy services company based in Fort McMurray, Alta., specializing in managing, distributing and storing diesel and lubricants in the oil sands region of the province. McKay Métis Contracting LP has acquired the assets of Roughrider and its subsidiaries, including lucrative contracts with industry, in a deal valued at $21 million, according to a release.

“This acquisition will significantly increase our size, holdings, workforce and the diversity of our business offerings, as well as increasing profits and benefits for the Fort McKay Métis Nation,” Crystal Young, president and CEO of McKay Métis Contracting LP, said in a statement. “It is one of only a very few transactions regionally where an Indigenous community has acquired one of its partner companies.”

McKay Métis Contracting LP, which is beneficially owned by the Fort McKay Métis Nation, will welcome 140 Roughrider staff as part of the transaction.

“As a social enterprise wholly owned for the benefit of the Fort McKay Métis people, this is more than an investment in business growth; it’s an investment in the long-term prosperity of our people and future generations,” said Ron Quintal, president of the Fort McKay Métis Nation and chair of the McKay Métis Group.

The McKay Métis Group owns numerous companies servicing Alberta’s oil sands and has expanded rapidly since its formation, growing its revenue from $50,000 in 2009 to more than $110 million in 2020. It recently won its first Canada-wide contract and continues to grow with the acquisition of Roughrider.

“Becoming part of an Aboriginal-owned business is the peak of an arc of growth for Roughrider,” said Roughrider president Dave Secord. “We’ve grown our assets and customer base. Becoming part of a social enterprise will be a source of pride for all our workers.”

MLT Aikins was counsel to McKay Métis Contracting LP for this transaction and advises the McKay Métis Group on general corporate commercial and transactional matters, including its corporate structure, setting up new corporations and partnerships, and acquiring new companies and assets.

MLT Aikins has been a longtime adviser to many Indigenous-owned enterprises. Learn how our Indigenous practice group helps clients achieve their economic development goals.