Héroux-Devtek Lays Off 10% Of Workers, Closes Alta Precision Plant

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Landing gear specialist Héroux-Devtek of Canada said May 5 it will cut its workforce 10% or 225 employees, most in Quebec, and close its Alta Precision plant in Montreal due to the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“While our defense activities have been generally insulated from the global pandemic, we are seeing lower demand for our commercial products,” CEO and President Martin Brassard said. “We must therefore take the difficult but necessary decision to rationalize our cost structure by adjusting our manufacturing capacity to the current unprecedented environment. We regret the impact these actions will have on affected employees and will put in place appropriate measures to support them.”

Héroux-Devtek acquired Alta Precision, a manufacturer of high-precision landing-gear components, just last year for $23 million. The then-49-year-old company counted Embraer, Safran, Liebherr and the U.S. Air Force as major customers. Its backlog comprised gear components for the E-2 and Airbus A220 regional jets and for the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 widebodies.

Héroux-Devtek will account for the restructuring with a $12 million pretax charge for the first quarter of fiscal 2021.

Héroux-Devtek is the world’s third-largest landing gear manufacturer. Around 90% of its annual sales are outside of Canada, including around 50% in the U.S. Besides headquarters in Longueuil, Québec, and other facilities in Canada, the company has sites in the U.S., the UK and Spain.

Michael Bruno

Based in Washington, Michael Bruno is Aviation Week Network’s Executive Editor for Business. He oversees coverage of aviation, aerospace and defense businesses, supply chains and related issues.