Horizon North Logistics Inc. says it has completed the $14 million acquisition of Moose Haven Lodge in Janvier, Alta., and has formed two new Aboriginal partnerships in the Fort McMurray area.

The acquisition and new partnerships are key components of the company’s strategy with respect to opportunities in the Fort McMurray region.

Moose Haven Lodge, located 120 kilometres south of Fort McMurray near the hamlet of Janvier, is a 288-bed open lodge servicing workforce accommodation needs in the Highway 881 corridor between Conklin and Fort McMurray. The acquisition is a key element of its newly signed partnership with Janvier Aboriginal Industrial Services Corp., a wholly owned entity of the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, said Horizon North, which said both the acquisition and partnership position it to secure future contracts in the surrounding area.

The purchase price is payable in a mix of cash and Horizon North common shares.

“We have invested significantly in our industrial business park, with Moose Haven Lodge as a vital piece to its future development,” Chief Vern Janvier of the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation, said in a news release.”We are pleased that Horizon North purchased the lodge and joined with us to finalize our new camp and catering partnership. As partners, we look forward to generating new business opportunities in our territory which will benefit the Nation and all our members.”

To win work in these areas, Horizon North and its customers believe strong relationships are required with the Aboriginal communities who call the regions home, added Rod Graham, president and CEO of Horizon North. “Directly related to our relationship with Chipewyan Prairie, for example, we have already secured two significant operations contracts and believe there is potential to operate up to 10,000 beds within the Nation’s territory.”

Fort McMurray strategy

Horizon North’s partnership to the south of Fort McMurray with the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation coincides with another new Aboriginal partnership to the north of Fort McMurray with Acden Services LimitedPartnership, a wholly owned entity of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. These two new partnerships join 21 others which Horizon North maintains with Aboriginal communities in Canada, and represent further foundational elements of the company’s strategy in the Fort McMurray area.

“This partnership is a significant one for Acden,” said Garry Flett, Acden’s president and CEO. “One of our leading priorities is to provide our clients with a diverse portfolio of services. Horizon North’s reputation for quality, integrity and cost effectiveness is a perfect fit.”

As a Progressive Aboriginal Relations (“PAR”) committed company, engagement with the Aboriginal communities in the areas where Horizon North operates is a key part of its social responsibility, said Horizon North.

“When we look to the future with these two Aboriginal communities, as we do with all our partners, we seek ways in which we can jointly use our expertise in industrial services and modular solutions to build lasting economic value and quality of life for the families and individuals who call the region home,” said Graham.

While the reduction in oilsands activity is certainly well-documented, less talked about is that opportunities are still plentiful in the Fort McMurray area with the right partners, he said. With its diverse offerings and commitment to the communities it works in, Horizon North is well-positioned to leverage the potential in the region, according to Graham.