The CEL Group of Companies (“CEL”) announced that it will be joining the Madison Industries (“Madison”) group of companies. CEL is headquartered in Winnipeg and is comprised of Winnipeg-based Conviron and Argus Controls based in Surrey, BC.
The acquisition is the culmination of the 58-year ownership of CEL by the Kroft family of Winnipeg, which was started by Richard Kroft in 1964. Steve Kroft, Richard’s son, joined the business in 1997, becoming its President and CEO in 1998 and acquiring its majority ownership in 2006. Steve managed the business until 2019, when John Proven became the company’s President, at which time Steve assumed the role of Executive Chairman.
“Early on, my dad and I agreed that when CEL reached a stage where it exceeded our family’s capacity to seize all the opportunities in front of us, we would put the business in the hands of someone who could,” said Steve Kroft. “With so many tailwinds driving our business - climate change, breakthroughs in science, and overwhelming stress on the world’s food production capacity - the opportunities for CEL and the demands on our business have never been greater. Further, it’s important that our incredible employees are given every opportunity to grow and that our clients are getting the very best from CEL. Now is the time to accelerate growth, and in Madison, we have found the perfect home for CEL.”
Larry Gies, Founder, and CEO of Madison, commented: “We are honored that the Kroft family chose Madison to carry on the amazing mission and culture that Steve and Richard Kroft have created. CEL’s role in feeding the world, improving human health, and protecting the environment truly resonated with us. John Proven and the CEL team impressed us with their passion and vision for the future. We are looking forward to investing and growing in Winnipeg and Surrey with the passionate Conviron and Argus teams.”
Looking forward, John Proven will continue to lead CEL as President/CEO, executing their aggressive strategies for growth in plant science and commercial horticulture, which includes building on Conviron’s advances in plant science and production and advancing Argus’ controls technology and innovative SaaS portfolio. CEL will continue to be headquartered in Winnipeg, home to Conviron and nearly 200 of its more than 300 employees.