History

Our roots

Birth of the company 1923-1962

The company was founded in 1923 around one of Canada’s most abundant natural resources, sphagnum peat moss.

Our foundations 1963-1988

Sphagnum peat moss is at the heart of our past, present and future development.

Premier Tech 1989 till today

Premier Tech has expanded naturally from the various technology-oriented aspects of sphagnum peat moss exploitation. Premier Tech has been building its know-how and reputation on the expertise and synergy of its three groups – Horticulture and Agriculture, Industrial Equipment and Environmental Technologies.

1923

Premier Peat Moss Corporation arrives in New York

The first company to commercialize and distribute sphagnum peat moss is founded in America by German peat moss producers immigrated to the United States.

1933

Acquisition of Insulation Ltd.

By acquiring the sphagnum peat moss exploitation company, Premier Peat Moss Corporation establishes itself in l’Isle-Verte.

1963

Acquisition of Tourbières du Saint-Laurent in
Rivière-du-Loup

Bernard Bélanger, Premier Tech’s current Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, acquires Tourbières du Saint-Laurent.

1978

Creation of Tourbières Premier Ltd.

Tourbières Premier Ltd. emerges from the association of Tourbières du Saint-Laurent and Premier Peat Moss Corporation.

1987

Creation of Premier CDN Enterprises Ltd.

The creation of Premier CDN Enterprises Ltd. officializes the incorporation of the assets of Tourbières Premier Ltd. and of the Research Center, inaugurated four years earlier.

1988

Registration on the Montreal Stock Exchange

Following its creation, Premier CDN Enterprises Ltd. is listed on the Montreal Stock Exchange.

1989

Creation of Premier Tech Ltd.

The Business Unit of Premier CDN Enterprises Ltd. now includes the engineering department of Tourbières Premier and the equipment manufacturing plant. The equipment manufactured is used to fill internal technological needs, but it is soon offered to competitors.

1999

Registration on the Toronto Stock Exchange and name change

Premier CDN Enterprises becomes Premier Tech Ltd., which comprises six Business Units. The company is also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PTL.A.

2007

Privatization of the company

Some twenty years after its registration on the Stock Exchange, Premier Tech decides to return to a private company status.

2013

Premier Tech celebrates 90 years of passion

…And this is only the beginning!

Over the years, Premier Tech has naturally expanded from the various technology-oriented aspects of sphagnum peat moss exploitation while using it as a springboard towards the diversified product and service portfolio it offers today. In 2013, Premier Tech stays the course, building for the last 90 years on the energy and passion of its multidisciplinary team and relying on both strategic acquisitions and sustained investments in Innovation, Research and Development. Premier Tech’s prime objective is to continue to stand out through innovative products as well as unrivalled support and service, thanks to the talent and diversity of its teams.

2013

Ecoflo® celebrates 20 years of innovation in water preservation!

The Ecoflo® Biofilter is a globally known brand in the compact onsite wastewater treatment systems market. In the last 20 years, over 100,000 units have been installed in a total of 17 countries. Ecoflo® is the result of a team’s ongoing focus on the development of a technology and the ambition to design systems that are ever more compact, smarter and more efficient. Ecoflo® is testimony to Premier Tech’s global innovation, manufacturing and marketing footprint.

Dedicated to innovation, research and development

Our first innovations 1963-1978

The company innovates in the strategy of operations and distribution. Those years are characterized by the automation of production and the commercialization of the first growing medium in America.

Structuring of Innovation 1979-2001

The experience gained in the field of sphagnum peat moss allowed the company to develop its expertise and naturally direct its activities towards innovative technologies in the fields of packaging equipment, wastewater treatment systems and biotechnologies. This strategic orientation leads to the development of new processes, innovative systems and infrastructures.

Acceleration of Innovation 2002 till today

In a market that is globalizing and getting more complex, Premier Tech speeds up its efforts and invests steadily in research and development. It implements structured Innovation, Research and Development programs which help refine the company’s global offer. It commercializes many value-added product lines and first-rate technologies which are recognized worldwide.

1963

Innovation regarding the distribution strategy

The company abandons rail transport in favour of truck shipments and thus becomes the industry’s leader thanks to its short delivery lead times.

1964

Introduction of vacuum harvesting

This innovation allows for large-scale production at significantly reduced costs, compared to the traditional block-cutting approach.

1968

PRO-MIX® is launched on the market

Commercialization of the first prefabricated growing medium made of sphagnum peat moss, fertilizers and aggregates in America.

1978

Automation of the growing media production line

The company invests in the complete automation of its production line, thus decreasing costs while achieving higher quality control standards.

1983

Opening of a Research Center in Rivière-du-Loup

Creation of the largest private research center dedicated to the development of growing media through high biotechnology processes.

1986

Creation of an engineering department

The company sets up an engineering department whose objective is to automate bagging entirely.

1987

Development of value-added growing media

An endomycorrhizal fungus improving the resistance and growth speed of plants is selected and studied.

1989

Introduction of the harvesting and bagging equipment

Premier Tech manufactures equipment initially intended to fill the company’s internal technological needs and soon undertakes its commercialization.

1992

Deployment of a peat bog restoration program

Implementation of a structured program for the restoration of peat bogs after harvesting.

1995

Development of the Ecoflo® Biofilter is completed

Premier Tech finalizes the development and initiates the commercialization of the wastewater biofiltration system, which relies on the filtering properties of sphagnum peat moss.

1997

Official launch of PROGRAMME MOBILISATEUR I

This research and development program, with its budget of $22.7 million over four years, aims at developing 34 new products.

Construction of infrastructures dedicated to Innovation, Research and Development

The infrastructures represent 3 000 m2 of testing areas including three workshop-like development halls, eight laboratories and a pilot platform.

1998

Construction of two equipment manufacturing plants

One of the plants specializes in the design and manufacturing of screening and granulometric selection systems, whereas the other is equipped with leading-edge machinery used to manufacture baggers and palletizers.

2000

A plant for the production of endomycorrhizal inoculants is set up

A world first: Premier Tech launches its industrial mycoreactor production of mycorrhizal inoculants destined for horticultural and agricultural markets.

2001

Launch of MOBILISATEUR II program

MOBILISATEUR II is launched, with the objective of developing and commercializing 55 new products over a four-year period. The program, with its budget of $40 million, also aims at developing technological platforms around the existing products.

2002

Expansion of the industrial flexible packaging equipment line

Thanks to its IR&D programs and the acquisition of Chronos Richardson, Premier Tech develops a product line for the food, chemical and mineral industries while adding new bagging technologies to its product lines.

2003

Introduction of a new PRO-MIX® with BIOFUNGICIDE

The first growing medium integrating a biofungicide is launched.

2005

Launch of the IR&D program ESSOR

With a total budget of almost 80 million dollars, ESSOR will develop 153 new products. This new initiative will allow Premier Tech to diversify and improve its offer.

2006

Development of complementary wastewater treatment products

Development and commercialization of a new line of complementary wastewater treatment products destined for the commercial, municipal and industrial markets.

2009

Scaling of the endomycorrhizal inoculants production process

Construction and expansion of leading-edge premises and laboratories dedicated to the industrial production of endomycorrhizae.

2010

Complete modernization of Premier Tech Horticulture’s St-Laurent Plant in Rivière-du-Loup

Eastern Canada’s most important sphagnum peat moss production plant is now equipped with state-of-the-art bagging and handling machinery.

2010

Ecoflo®, the new generation

Marketed since fall 2010, Premier Tech's new ready-to-use Ecoflo® biofilter allows for a much faster and easier installation.

2011

Elaboration of the IR&D program IPSO

IPSO relies on Innovation regarding Products, Processing, Processes, Services and commercial Offers. Its objective is to maximize commercial and financial benefits while optimizing the long-term development and positioning of Premier Tech and its Business Units.

2012

Launch of the program FAIRE – Fabrication Avancée et Innovation pour Renforcer l’Excellence

This major two-part investment aims to accelerate the company's technological and commercial leadership in its markets.

2012

Premier Tech Horticulture's commercial offer broadens

The PRO-MIX® brand portfolio is completely repositioned: the Excellence and Performance lines are created, integrating some ten new products.

2012

Premier Tech Systems (PTS) penetrates the rigid packaging market

Relying on new robotic technologies developed via its Business Unit PTS, Premier Tech's Industrial Equipment Group (IEG) enters the field of rigid packaging.

2015

New Innovation Program: IDEE

Premier Tech’s new three-year IR&D program, named IDEE – Innovation and Development for Elevating Exportations – will allow the company to accelerate the technological and commercial progression of its three Groups through 24 distinct IR&D initiatives. The program represents a total investment of 45.9 million dollars by Premier Tech.

The power of one team

Strategic alliances and business integration
1995 till today

Premier Tech accelerates its growth via several business acquisitions and the establishment of strategic partnerships.

1995

Acquisition of Équipements Tardif

Premier Tech acquires the supplier and launches STARSCREENER, in alliance with Erin Screen Systems, an Irish screening systems company.

1997

Acquisition of Erin Screen Systems

ERIN SYSTEMS becomes a Business Unit of Premier CDN Enterprises Ltd.

1998

Acquisition of Maximilian Lerner Corp.

Premier Tech acquires the New York-based peat moss products distributor and major Canadian peat most importer Maximilian Lerner Corp.

1999

Acquisition of 60% of FTH FÖRDERTECHNIK HAMBOURG GmbH’s capital stock

FTH specializes in the design and assembly of handling and palletizing systems for the chemical and consumer products industries.

Acquisition of W.G. Durant

Premier Tech enters the valve bag filling equipment market by integrating the W.G. Durant technologies into its product portfolio. Premier Tech Chronos, a Business Unit of Premier Tech, then penetrates new markets in the chemical, food and mineral industries.

2001

Acquisition of B.A.G. Equip

Following the acquisition of W.G. Durant in 1999, Premier Tech acquires a line of FIBC filling equipment, thereby broadening its offer. These technologies are integrated into the product portfolio of the Premier Tech Business Unit Premier Tech Chronos.

2002

Acquisition of 60% of Plastique Joliette’s capital stock

This company specializes in the manufacturing of customized rotomoulded plastic parts. Premier Tech acquires the remaining 40% in 2002.

Acquisition of Chronos Holdings Ltd. (Chronos Richardson)

This company specializes mainly in bagging systems and equipment for powders and granular products.

Acquisition of Richard Simon

Premier Tech acquires the Nottingham-based company Richard Simon, which specializes in the manufacturing of innovative weighing, bagging and packaging equipment. Its Business Unit Premier Tech Chronos then introduces the new technologies to its North American, European and Asian markets.

2003

Acquisition of 60% of MLB Distribution’s capital stock

Premier Tech becomes the main shareholder of its French partner MLB Distribution, which markets and sells screening, sizing and recycling equipment.

2004

Acquisition of Eco Équipement & Procédés International inc.

Always aiming to offer the most complete selection of products and services, Premier Tech Aqua, a Premier Tech Business Unit, integrates the activities of Eco Équipement & Procédés International inc., a Quebec-based technological leader in high-flow systems. Since then, all Premier Tech Aqua high-flow systems are grouped under the Ecoprocess brand.

2006

Acquisition of Les Machineries Verville, based in Drummondville

The facilities of the company, which specializes in the field of industrial flexible packaging for organic materials, become the Manufacturing Plant of Drummondville (UFD).

2007

Centralization of the activities of Chronos Richardson Systems Europe in Parma, Italy

Most of the products destined for the European market are now manufactured at Parma’s plant. The other European installations are in charge of maintenance, parts and after-sales service.

2008

Acquisition of GescoFAB Ltd.

Premier Tech acquires GescoFAB Ltd., mostly known for the design, manufacturing and installation of high-performance unit and pallet handling conveyor systems, sorting systems and robotic systems that are adapted to its customers’ needs. The new equipment line is integrated into the product portfolio of the Premier Tech Business Unit Premier Tech Chronos.

2009

Acquisition of Ecoflo® Ontario

Premier Tech acquires its exclusive distributor of Ecoflo® Biofilters in Ontario.

Acquisition in Salt Lake City, United States

Premier Tech becomes the owner of Graphic Packaging International’s bagging equipment division, which continues to operate under the name STONEPAK.

Acquisition of Bag Treatment Holland (BTH)

Now known under the name Chronos BTH, this Business Unit positions itself as one of the leaders in industrial flexible packaging on the European market.

2010

Acquisition of BTH UK

This acquisition consolidates Premier Tech’s leadership in the field of industrial flexible packaging in Europe.

Acquisition of Delmarva and Falling Springs

Premier Tech acquires two American distributors operating respectively in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Acquisition of all of FORBERG’s intellectual properties

The Norwegian society’s properties will support the development of the baling technologies of Premier Tech’s Industrial Equipment Group.

A new Business Unit is set up: Premier Tech Chronos China

Premier Tech penetrates the Chinese market of flexible packaging equipment destined for food, organic, chemical and mineral products.

Acquisition of Sure-Gro, Ontario, Canada

The Canadian leader of products for amateur gardeners becomes Premier Tech Home & Garden.

Acquisition of Purflo (APC and Calona-Purflo)

One of the French leaders in the fields of decentralized wastewater treatment, water storage and rainwater harvesting becomes Premier Tech Aqua Purflo.

2011

Acquisition of a majority interest in Tropicoir Lanka Ltd. in Sri Lanka

This transaction lies within the scope of Premier Tech’s growth strategy and aims to strengthen its filtering media supply chain.

Acquisition of Malpec Peat Moss Ltd., New Brunswick, Canada

The acquisition of Malpec supports various manufacturing and commercial strategies while increasing Premier Tech Horticulture’s reserves of sphagnum peat moss in Eastern Canada.

Acquisition of Specialties Robert Legault, Québec, Canada

Involving the retail sales division of Specialties Robert Legault, this transaction enables Premier Tech Home & Garden (PTHG) to add nother distribution channel to its current network.

2012

Acquisition of the vonGAL Corporation

This Montgomery, Alabama-based company manufactures and markets high-performance rigid packaging palletizing solutions to diversified industries.

Premier Tech increases its presence in India

First, by establishing its Environmental Technologies Group through the creation of Premier Tech Aqua India, founded in collaboration with an Indian partner, The Malani Group.

Then, by increasing the participation of its Industrial Equipment Group in the joint venture Chronos Richardson India, which will allow Premier Tech and its flexible packaging technologies to accelerate their penetration of India’s growing emerging market.

2013

Acquisition of Falienor, France

French leader in the formulation of growing media, this partner of
Premier Tech continues to operate under its current name.

Acquisition of the assets of MOULDMAN – Gestão de Moldes S.A., located in Montijo, Portugal

This company, specialized in the manufacturing of rotomoulded plastic parts, will now be known as Premier Tech Iberoto.

Join company with EPS

The Environmental Technologies Group is entering the United Kingdom and Ireland market for wastewater treatment through the acquisition of a 70% participation in Conder Solutions Limited, from Ireland-based Electrical Pump and Services Limited (EPS).

2014

Acquisition of Rewatec and Rota, Germany

The Environmental Technologies Group expands its presence in Europe while improving its strategic and technological positioning with the acquisition of German companies Rewatec GmbH and Rota GmbH; key players in the rainwater harvesting and decentralized wastewater treatment on the German territory.

2015

Premier Tech Now in South America

Premier Tech enters the South American market following the acquisition of Almeida Martins (AM) by its Industrial Equipment Group (IEG). In line with IEG’s other global Business Units, AM will now be conducting its material handling and rigid packaging activities under the name Premier Tech Chronos.

Acquisition of facilities from Agrium Advanced Technologies

Premier Tech acquires facilities located in Brighton, Ontario, Canada from Agrium Advanced Technologies. This long-standing partner specializes in the formulation and packaging of liquid products destined to a wide range of markets, including the home gardening consumer market.

Acquisition of a new production facility in France

Premier Tech acquires the French company Atelier Plastique Forézien, located in Andrézieux-Bouthéon and specializing in the rotational moulding of thermoplastic materials. By this transaction, the company aims to increase the European manufacturing capacity of its Premier Tech Aqua France (PTAF) Business Unit.

Premier Tech Adds to Its Horticulture Bases in France

Premier Tech acquires the assets and commercial activities of Smurfit Kappa Comptoir du Pin’s Tree Bark Division. For more than 55 years, this company located in Aubigné-Racan, France, has been a strong player in the decorative and composted tree bark segments. The division will be integrated into Premier Tech Falienor (PTFF), who will leverage this new expertise to increase the quality and diversity of its commercial offer.