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Adsero is positioned to take advantage of global opportunities
as individuals, small, medium and large corporation are starting to embrace remanufactured toner and ink-jet
2101 Nobel Street
Sainte-Julie, QC Canada J3E 1Z8
President and CEO
Interview conducted by:
Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor
April 7, 2005
Yvon Léveillé is CEO of ADSERO, a company that seeks to acquire or invest in
well-managed companies that specifically address the e-waste market with a focus on
desktop printing supplies. In 1988, he founded Teckn-O-Laser, an award-winning company
that remanufactures quality printer cartridges. Since its inception, Mr. Léveillé has
propelled Teckn-O-Laser to a position of prominence and leadership in the North American
industry. On January 31st, 2005, he rolled into ADSERO.
Prior to Teckn-O-Laser, Mr. Léveillé had founded Micro Tempus, a communications software
development company he shepherded to IPO in 1986. In 1969, he completed the electronic
engineering program at the De Vry Institute of Technology in Toronto and graduated with
honours. His urge to further develop the remanufacturing industry lead him to join, in the
fall of 2001, the International Imaging Technology Council, a non-profit organisation
representing imaging supplies companies of all types. A philanthropist, he has at heart
the raising of funds for research on scleroderma, a rare disease, and since 1998 he is
President of Sclérodermie Québec a non-profit organisation.
Adsero Corp. is a rapidly expanding Company focused on the printer cartridge
"Recharger" Industry, with specific emphasis on Laser Toner and Ink Jet
cartridges, with $30,000,000 in annual revenues.
The Recharger Industry is defined by printer cartridges where many of their components can
be reused, remanufactured or recycled, then marketed back to consumers at substantially
lower prices than a new cartridge, while still generating high margins for Adsero Corp.
Aderso Corp. is focused on consolidating well-managed and profitable companies in this
extremely lucrative marketplace.
Leveille, will you please tell us a bit about your background with the company?
Mr. Leveille: I started Teckn-o-Laser, the companys original name, back
in 1988. At the time I was running a software company and I had piled up toner cartridges
in the corner, because I did not want anybody to throw away these four or five pounds of
plastic and aluminum in the landfills. I decided that since nobody was calling us to do
anything with it, that we would do something. I started the company and had my wife run
the company while we started recycling these toner cartridges. That business developed and
exploded much quicker than the software company that I was developing, so I jumped ship in
early 1991 to concentrate all of my efforts on developing Teckn-o-Laser.
you become a public company recently?
Mr. Leveille: Yes. When I started in 1988, the focus
was not the world, but as we developed the company and focused on developing quality
products, we convinced ourselves that we were able to win business from corporate America
with a quality product. The company continued to develop. Now we realize that the
opportunity is global and we need to do a lot in terms of corporate development, product
development, manufacturing capability development, marketing development, and that
requires much cash. At the same time, it is a huge opportunity. I decided that we would go
public and I think under the circumstances, the best way was to roll my company
Teckn-o-Laser into Adsero Corp., which is a company that is listed on the NASDAQ.
are you actually producing today?
Mr. Leveille: Teckn-o-Laser is a group of companies
that manufactures and distributes remanufactured toner cartridges and ink-jet cartridges
for the printer market. These products are sold through a variety of channels such as
distributors and retail office stores; both domestic and internationally.
is a remanufactured cartridge?
Mr. Leveille: A remanufactured cartridge is built from
an already-used cartridge that normally would have been sent to a landfill. In those
cartridges there is more than just the ink that produces the mark on the paper; there is
electronics, especially in the toner cartridges; there are several electronic components.
Remanufacturing toner cartridges means taking it apart totally. The electronic components
are cleaned and tested to see if they are good enough to make another cycle to produce the
equivalent print quality as if brand-new. If it is not, then the components are replaced.
The cartridge is then reassembled and replenished with high-quality toner, so we can
guarantee its performance just like an original new cartridge.
the public embrace the idea of remanufactured cartridges?
Mr. Leveille: The public embraces the quality,
remanufactured cartridge because it is great for the environment and when it is equivalent
to a new cartridge, it brings a savings because we can offer these products to the
marketplace for a 30-35% savings. We have proven this at Teckn-o-Laser. Because we have
always focused on a quality product, we have been able to grow this business by winning
new customers all the time and keeping the customers that we have, for the long-term. The
market does embrace a remanufactured cartridge because it represents a real value.
there a typical customer for you?
Mr. Leveille: There is a wide variety of buyers, which
use our products. We have homeowners, small, medium and large corporations buying our
products. We have governments officially having selected us as their supplier, or
departments of governments buying our products. We have a wide mix of products and those
that favor our products will be the ones that favor a constant, dependable, quality
is the landscape in your field?
Mr. Leveille: The landscape right now is rather
complicated. It is a huge market on a global basis of about $45 billion market when we
intermix the ink-jet market and the toner cartridge market. If we bring it home and just
look at the United States as a market, it is more like a $7 billion - $9 billion market
over the next few years in toner alone. In those markets, there are a few OEM companies
that provide the new cartridges and there is about 3000-4000 so-called dealers/re-chargers
that provide the remanufactured products for what we call the E-Waste market, which has
reached about 35% market penetration. Out of those 3000-4000 re-chargers, most of them are
manufacturing as well, but that is a challenged market segment, with the high flux of new
product introduction, the introduction and popularity of the color laser toners. That
provides an opportunity for consolidation in our market.
is on the horizon?
Mr. Leveille: The goal is one of consolidation. One of
the ways to achieve this is by concentrating manufacturing so that we become a quality,
low-cost producer by spreading out the cost of product development over higher volume, by
having more purchasing power, therefore having a better price and better production costs
by doing longer production runs. Today, the $2 billion market, which is the market share
of the remanufactured products, is done by about 3000-4000 plants. Imagine if we can
consolidate that into just a few plants. In many cases, we will be an outsource provider
for those companies that will want to turn themselves into dealers and get out of
CEOCFOinterviews: How do
you make that happen?
Mr. Leveille: We have already mastered manufacturing
and we are already doing part of the distribution to market the service. In three or six
months down the road, we will be converting more of these companies that manufacture, into
dealers and at the same time, increasing our production capacity and distribution capacity
to meet those demands. We will do acquisitions for different reasons if for example, we
need market coverage or distribution coverage geographically where we are not today, it
may make sense to acquire one of our competitors to help in the process. It could also be
to gain more manufacturing capacity at the proper time. We will continue to develop a
REFLEXION network that we started a few years ago. That is providing an additional sales
channel to move our products and we will do the acquisitions necessary to complete the
puzzle. The opportunities are huge.
went public recently and raised some capital. How far will that take you and what do you
need to do on a continual basis to fund your plans?
Mr. Leveille: What we have done lately is roll
Teckn-o-Laser into Adsero, so that gives us a public vehicle. As we build and demonstrate
our ability to grow and grow the profits, we will need to generate more cash that we will
need to do more acquisitions and internal growth. It is like a snowball that picks up size
as it rolls; one will feed the other.
brand name meaningful in the re-charger market and will that become an important factor?
Mr. Leveille: Yes, it will. This will be something that
we will promote as we convert rechargers into dealers under a network using the REFLEXION
brand. It is one of the challenges, which the smaller re-chargers have. If they want to
sell to a corporate America that has several offices in several cities, they cannot
because most of them would be in just one city. For corporate America to buy a
remanufactured cartridge in a different city, they would have to buy it from different
companies, which would mean different level of quality because they are made at different
plants, different product code, and different pricing. It is too complicated and they will
avoid it because it is too complicated. With a network like REFLEXION that we are putting
in-place, it is one brand, one price, one SKU, and one known quality. Corporate America
will now have an alternative compared to the OEM offering.
CEOCFOinterviews: Do you
have the management team in-place for what you are planning?
Mr. Leveille: Yes, that is the beauty of rolling
Teckn-o-Laser into Adsero because I have an experienced management team that we will
should potential investors be interested and what should they know that they might not
realize when they first look at the company?
Mr. Leveille: We will be a growth company in revenue
and we are in a market that is huge and can provide hefty growth. It is a recurring
revenue market. These printers out there, whether they are laser printers using toner
cartridges or ink-jet cartridges, are there and the installation base is growing all the
time. Therefore, the units will be consuming more and more print cartridges. That is the
great thing about this business, is that it is a recurring revenue business. It is like an
annuity stream. We today, have multiple customers, so the risk of having all of our
revenues around one customer is mitigated. The type of complications that we have is a
multitude of small or medium size companies that are under capitalized and do not have the
capability to keep up with the high wave of new technology, which is introduced each year.
In a nut shell, we will be an interesting growth company in a strong market, which will
have the ability to grow profits and therefore build shareholders equity.
closing, do you feel that you have the background, the expertise and the foresight to do
all of this!
Mr. Leveille: I have the background and the vision, and
I will surround myself with the necessary professionals to take it to the different levels
necessary. For the rolling of Teckn-o-Laser into Adsero, I have already gained additional
resources and that will continue. We are sitting in a huge market with much growth
capability and it is now just a matter of execution.
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