The Canadian province of British Columbia has purchased a $60 million (Canadian) stake in the BC-based Western Star Trucks.
According to published reports, Premier Glen Clark announced his government would buy preferred shares, which are convertible into common stock. If converted today, the BC government would own 6%, making it one of the largest single shareholders in the company.
Under the deal, the government can't own more than 10% of the company.
Western Star will expand its truck plant in Kelowna, BC, to create an industrial park. The existing facility has run out of space to build a new planned line of Class 3 trucks. The existing plant turns out 31 heavy-duty Class 8 trucks a day. When completed, the new plant will have a capacity of 40 trucks a day. Added to the new plant under construction in South Carolina, the addition will more than double Western Star's capacity for building Class 8 trucks.
Western Star posted a 49% increase in profits for the third quarter of its financial year on a 23% increase in revenue. Third-quarter sales of Western Star trucks were up 43% on the year.