MONTREAL - La Coop federee and Groupe BMR are in talks aimed at creating what they describe only as "an eventual business relationship."
Few details were contained in a statement issued Tuesday by La Coop, Quebec's largest agri-food company, and Group BMR, which represents independent dealers operating home renovation and hardware centres in Eastern Canada as well as the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
And both sides said they have agreed to maintain confidentiality during the negotiations.
"These discussions are being held in an active business context for Quebec distributors and retailers specializing in hardware, renovation, agricultural machinery and gardening products," the two sides said.
"In the event that a formal agreement is reached, members, management and employees of both organizations and their affiliates will be informed first."
La Coop federee is the largest agri-food company in Quebec with more than 9,500 employees and annual sales totalling some $5 billion. It is owned by more than 100,000 members grouped into 102 co-operatives located in several Canadian provinces.
BMR is a group of independent dealers that operate 187 home renovation and hardware centres in Quebec, Ontario, the Maritimes and on the French islands of Saint-Pierre & Miquelon. BMR members employ some 5,000 people and have estimated annual sales of more than $1.3 billion.