Springer Aerospace in Echo Bay, Ont. has found a way out of its reported $5.7 million debt – all while remaining locally owned and operated.
The company has new owners – its former neighbours – the duo behind Northshore Tractor Limited and Lock City Dairy.
Vic Fremlin has lived next to Springer Aerospace founder Dan Springer for 50 years.
Fremlin, along with his brother Tom are investing $5.5 million in the local aerospace company to keep it going.
“If we’ve got a guy of this caliber, Springer Aviation, here, you’re not going to rebuild that here. There’s no way you’re going to be able to do it,” said Fremlin.
“He did it over 50 years.”
The business will continue to be run by Springer, as the Fremlins believe the company’s founder had been ‘dealt a bad hand.’
“I’m not worried one bit,” said Fremlin.
“I’m probably more worried about a cow calving in the back of my farm more than I’m going to worry about what he’s going to do down here.”
Springer told CTV News the ‘bad hand’ Fremlin refers to was poorly timed investments.
In the years immediately before the pandemic, Springer Aerospace spent about $7.5 million in upgrades to its hangar and runway – then COVID-19 happen; that Springer said no one could have predicted.
“Our customers are the regional airlines of the world, and especially in Canada,” said Springer.
“The mandate was that they couldn’t carry passengers, so they shut down for two years and that really hurt us.”
Company officials said pre-pandemic the aerospace firm had about 150 employees – now just 50.
Springer said with financial worries now behind them, he expects that with the upgrades already put in place, they will regain those employees and even “expand to new heights.”
“We have the facilities in place, we have the key people in place, we have the financing in place. We’re going to increase our customer base, service our existing customers and rebuild our workforce,” he said.
Officials said the transactions to finalize the sale should close by the end of the week.Source: NORTHERN ONTARIO