Flight simulator firm CAE selling mining division – by Bertrand Marotte (Globe and Mail – July 28, 2015)

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MONTREAL — Five years after placing a bet that entering the mining sector would pay off handsomely as a smart diversification move, flight simulator manufacturer CAE Inc. is selling its mining division.

The Montreal-based company said on Monday that Constellation Software Inc. has acquired its CAE Mining unit for an undisclosed amount, which one analyst estimates is slightly below the asset’s net book value of $47-million.

CAE had been carrying CAE Mining on its books as discontinued operations for the past year. The company had been looking for a buyer for about a year and chief executive officer Marc Parent said at the time that the division would not be sold at a fire-sale price.

CAE Mining, whose main brand name is Datamine, provides technology and services for the management of mining operations, including exploration data management and ore-body modelling.

Of the three areas CAE touted in 2009 as promising avenues for diversification – mining, energy and health care – only health care remains today as part of its operations. The company’s core businesses are simulation, modelling and pilot training in civil and defence aviation.

The Quebec government agreed to provide up to $100-million in long-term loans in 2009 as part of CAE’s program to invest up to $274-million in research and development over seven years in the three new growth areas.

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