ST. MARYS, Ontario (March 18, 2016) — The backers of Green Arc Tire Manufacturing Inc. in St. Marys are refinancing the nascent passenger tire retreader's equity as they seek to get the project back on track following delays the company's top executive blames on the permit approval process.
Green Arc Tire had targeted late 2015 to start production at a repurposed Dana Corp. truck chassis plant in St. Marys, but to date the project has yet to produce a tire and details as to the status of the plant's equipment are sketchy.
In open letter to St. Marys residents posted on the firm's website, Green Arc Tire CEO and COO Mike DiCenzo blames the delay on undisclosed “behind-the-scenes ‘politics'” that he claims forced Green Arc to scale back the size of the project and number of jobs to be created.
“This uncertain political environment has not instilled confidence in Green Arc's investors,” Mr. DiCenzo wrote in the letter, “one of whom owns the building that Green Arc is leasing.”
The company has a five-year lease at the building — a 400,000-sq.-ft. former Dana Corp. truck chassis plant that's been vacant for years — which Mr. DiCenzo said is now for sale.
Mr. DiCenzo singles out the mayor of St. Marys, Al Strathdee, and the region's local member of parliament, Randy Pettapiece, both of whom told the Kitchener, Ontario, CTV affiliate they are baffled by his comments, saying Mr. DiCenzo never approached them directly with his concerns.
Green Arc Tire was founded in late 2013 by Mr. DiCenzo, a Canadian with more than 30 years' experience in the used tire, casings and recycling industries, with financial backing from Phoenix Capital Partners, a Toronto venture capital firm, and Bancorp Financial Services Inc., a Vancouver mortgage fund management firm.