Trade Resources Company News a Number of QuéBec's Institutional Investors and Bankers Announces a $470m Investment

a Number of QuéBec's Institutional Investors and Bankers Announces a $470m Investment

A number of Québec's institutional investors and bankers have announced a $470m investment, in the form of preferred units, in Agropur Cooperative, Canada's largest dairy cooperative.

The transaction supports the cooperative's growth strategy and finances its recently announced acquisitions, including the dairy processing assets of US-based Davisco and Canada's Sobeys and Northumberland. As a result of these acquisitions, Agropur now ranks among the largest North American dairy product processors.

The transaction announced today was made possible by investments by La Caisse de dépt et placement du Québec of $150 million; National Bank and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, each of which invested $75 million; Investissement Québec, contributing $65 million to the transaction; and Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins and Fondaction CSN, which invested $55 million and $50 million, respectively. Based on certain conditions, La Caisse de dépt et placement du Québec's stake could reach $300 million at the next issuance of preferred units.

"Québec's high-performing businesses achieve economic growth notably when they expand into new markets, and the investment in Agropur Cooperative is ideally aligned with this approach," said Marc Cormier, Executive Vice-President, Fixed Income, who piloted the investment for La Caisse de dépt et placement du Québec. "Through this injection of capital, La Caisse is enabling Agropur to accelerate its long-term growth and in turn strengthen its leadership position in the dairy processing industry."

"For 76 years, Agropur Cooperative has been central to the success of Québec dairy farmers who are also hundreds of SMEs throughout the province," said Normand Chouinard, Executive Vice-President for Investments at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. "That is why the Fonds de solidarité FTQ's investment in Agropur's North American expansion fits perfectly with our strategy to support the development of businesses active in the agri-food sector throughout Québec."

"Agropur's international-calibre expertise is a source of great pride to all of us," said Yanick Blanchard, Executive Vice-President, Credit Capital Markets, National Bank. "With this major new investment, National Bank continues to enthusiastically support the development of the agri-food sector and the work of dairy farmers in many regions."

"This transaction speaks to the important role that cooperatives play in our economy, as well as to the importance of the complementary work carried out with Investissement Québec and other economic actors to create growth-generating projects, whose spinoffs benefit all Quebecers," stated Jacques Daoust, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports.

Marie-Claude Boisvert, Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif, points out that part of CRCD's mission includes supporting the growth of cooperatives. "We're proud to stand with Agropur and their 3,473 members and dairy producers. The acquisitions made by this flagship of the Quebec cooperative sector will create more wealth locally for years to come," said Boisvert.

According to Geneviève Morin, Chief Investment Officer at Fondaction CSN, "The growth of Agropur throughout North America will have positive social and economic spinoffs. It is with great pride that Fondaction helps to ensure the sustainability of this leading cooperative and the prosperity of its producer members in Québec."

"The year nearing completion has been marked by historical transactions for our cooperative, while the increased competition requires that our positioning become more strategic than ever," said Agropur President, Serge Riendeau. "To help support Agropur's growth and sustainability, we have placed our confidence in our highly regarded financial partners, who are capable of supporting our development while keeping Agropur's control and ownership in the hands of its members."

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Canada's Agropur Receives $470m Support