Solidarity Fund QFL and Regional Funds Launch the SME Transfer Solution for Buyers and Sellers


    Live Webcast at 10:30 a.m. at www.fondsftq.com under News

    MONTREAL, May 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Solidarity Fund QFL (the "Fund") and
its regional Solidarity Funds today launched a new solution and approach for
Québec business transfers called the SME Transfer Solution. This solution
provides both strategic and financial support to buyers and guidance to owners
selling their business.
    Business transfer is a topical issue in Québec as seven out of ten owners
plan on handing over the reins of their company by 2015 (according to the
Canadian Federation of Independent Business). While this prospect may appear
worrisome, it offers a business opportunity for potential buyers. Since it
seems clear that Québec SMEs need concrete solutions adapted to their reality
to help them through this transition, the Solidarity Fund QFL and its network
of regional funds have developed this new solution.
    The SME Transfer Solution offers products and services that can be
tailored to the needs of buyers or owners selling their company. Buyers can
benefit from the Fund's Flexi-Loan, which contains highly flexible repayment
terms and conditions, for example, the loan is repaid based on the company's
financial capacity, a principal payment holiday is offered as of the
first year, and an early repayment option is available. In terms of tax
planning, both the buyer and the seller can obtain, after the first meeting, a
draft transaction outlining the financial, legal and tax aspects of the
transaction.
    "The Fund has been supporting business owners with their succession
efforts for more than 10 years now. Whether it involves handing over the
reins, securing financing, providing buyers with strategic support or tax
advice, we believe that our new approach will give Québec companies a better
chance of surviving," said the Fund's senior vice-president, Normand
Chouinard.
    "The day-to-day management of a company leaves little time for business
transfer planning. The draft transaction gives entrepreneurs a clear idea of
the project's feasibility and furthers their reflection in this regard. Here
is an example of an initiative that we have taken and that meets the needs of
business owners. With our solution, the seller can benefit from the capital
gains exemption permitted by the governments. Moreover, we are using our
network of internal and external professionals to optimize the company's
growth and the odds of a successful transfer," stated Elaine Zakaib, president
and CEO of the regional Solidarity Funds QFL.
    A successful business transfer is a delicate operation and it is in this
context that the Fund, with this new solution, teamed with the Chaire de
développement et de relève de la PME at HEC Montréal to create a Web site
aimed at people interested in buying or selling a business. The site Du rêve à
la relève proposes a framework of reflection and action applicable to all
types of situations involving a business transfer. Visit
www.durevealareleve.com

    About regional Solidarity Funds QFL

    Since they were launched in the spring of 1996, the 16 regional
Solidarity Funds QFL have been actively participating in the economic
development of the regions of Québec. As at March 31, 2008, the regional
Funds' portfolio comprised 270 partner companies, bringing the total number of
jobs created or preserved to 12,400. Total investments stood at
$142.6 million.

    About the Solidarity Fund QFL

    With net assets of over $7.4 billion as at November 30, 2007, the
Solidarity Fund QFL is a development capital company that through its RRSP
channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the
economy to help create and maintain jobs and to further Québec's economic
growth. The Fund is a partner, either directly or through its network members,
in 1,696 companies. It currently has more than 575,000 shareholders and has
helped, on its own or with other financial partners, to create, maintain and
protect over 122,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com.



For further information: The following telephone number is provided for
the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives: Josée
Lagacé, Senior Press Relations and Communications Advisor, Solidarity Fund
QFL, (514) 850-4835, jlagace@fondsftq.com