11 Companies, 7 regions: $12.6 million - Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec invest $12.6 million in 11 Québec Companies

MONTREAL, Feb. 21, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of their ongoing efforts to foster Québec's economic vitality, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec announced today that they have jointly granted $12.6 million to 11 Québec companies located in seven Québec regions, namely, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Montérégie, Centre-du-Québec, Capitale-Nationale, Chaudière-Appalaches, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord. These investments bring the total amount invested by the partners under their agreement to close to $125 million.

According to Marie-Claude Boisvert, Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Venture Capital, which manages Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins, the number of investments made to date attests to the exceptional quality of the entrepreneurial pool in the regions. "We have made a commitment to promote and preserve the best of home-grown entrepreneurship by supporting the true artisans of regional economic development, and our partnership with the Caisse is perfectly in line with the achievement of this objective."

Luc Houle, Senior Vice-President, Investments at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, said, "These investments not only make it possible to accomplish a dozen projects across Québec, but they also support the Caisse's strategy to help successful and promising companies in their growth, regardless of their size or stage of development. With access to the vast Desjardins Group network, our agreement will allow us to have an impact on the operations of many companies."

11 COMPANIES: $12.6 MILLION

Agence de sécurité Mirado inc., Rouyn-Noranda
Mirado is the largest supplier of strategic security services in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Outaouais and Nord-du-Québec regions. The company, whose head office is located in Rouyn-Noranda, has 200 employees working to meet the needs of its clients in terms of guard services, security and investigation.

CMAC-Thyssen Mining Group, Val-d'Or
CMAC-Thyssen Mining Group executes mine development and mining operation contracts, providing turnkey service in addition to placement services. This investment will enable the Val-d'Or company to continue to grow following the signing of new contracts.

Propane Nord-Ouest, Val-d'Or
This company specializes in the distribution of bulk propane, as well as the sale and installation of equipment. Founded in the mid-1990s, today this Val-d'Or company has over 30 employees.

Pixelweb Télécom inc., Boucherville
Pixelweb Télécom provides specialized IT, Internet and telecommunications services. This new Boucherville company, founded in 2011, is the outcome of a buyback of Pixelweb assets.

Zone Vue inc., Québec City and Clermont
This company sells eyeglasses, contact lenses and eye care accessories. In all, nine employees ensure the continued operation of the optometry clinics in Clermont, in the Charlevoix region, and in Quebec City, in the Capitale-Nationale region.

Recyc RPM inc., Saint-Damien-de-Buckland
This company, whose head office is located in Saint-Damien-de-Buckland in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, has been in the plastic recycling business since it was founded in 1989. With a total of 70 employees, Recyc RPM inc. specializes in the processing of polymers using various grinding processes. This investment will serve to expand the Saint-Damien-de-Buckland facility.

Ultima Fenestration inc., Saint-Georges-de-Beauce
Ultima Fenestration manufactures PVC doors and windows for distributors, factory-built home manufacturers, contractors and individuals. More than 50 employees work for the company, which was founded in 2004 in Saint-Georges-de-Beauce. This investment will serve in part to buy back a shareholder.

Centre de réalisation d'outils innovateurs (CROI), Chicoutimi
CROI has developed an expertise in developing, manufacturing and modifying workstations, ergonomic seating and industrial cabins. The company, operating in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region since 1998, has 122 employees. It will use the investment to continue its expansion.

Sécurgence inc. / VIP Télécom inc., Baie-Comeau
Sécurgence and VIP Télécom are two Baie-Comeau companies that merged their operations in July 2011. They provide security, call centre and telecommunications services to residential and commercial clients. The Côte-Nord companies have a total of 28 employees.

Gestion P.R.N. Vigneault inc., Havre St-Pierre
Gestion P.R.N. Vigneault inc. is a management company made up of subsidiaries operating under the Unimat banner, and focued mainly on providing hardware products and services. This Côte-Nord company employs some 60 people.

For reasons of confidentiality, the identity of a company cannot be disclosed.

About the Desjardins and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec partnership

In 2010, Desjardins Group and the Caisse announced a $600 million agreement aimed at supporting the expansion and growth of Québec SMBs. The agreement includes two distinct components: one for small companies and another for medium-sized companies.

The first part of the agreement involves a $200-million fund, Capital croissance PME, to meet the financing needs of small Québec companies, primarily in the form of subordinated loans of less than $3 million. Desjardins Venture Capital, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, is the exclusive manager of this fund and an equal partner alongside the Caisse and Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins.

The second part of the partnership involves $400 million for the financing of leading medium-sized companies with good growth and profitability potential.

About Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins

Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary, is a publicly-traded company managed by Desjardins Venture Capital. With close to 107,000 shareholders and net assets of $1,220.4 million, the Company contributes to Québec's economic development while driving the growth of cooperatives and the resource regions. Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins directly and indirectly supports close to 300 companies, cooperatives and funds in various industries spanning all regions in Quebec. (www.capitalregional.com)

About the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a financial institution that manages funds primarily for public and private pension and insurance plans. At December 31, 2010, it held $151.7 billion of net assets. As one of the leading institutional fund managers in Canada, the Caisse invests in the main financial markets as well as in private equity and real estate. For more information: www.lacaisse.com.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group www.desjardins.com is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada with assets of nearly $190 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty Insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. As one of the largest employers in the country and among Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2012TM, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 43,600 employees and the commitment of nearly 6,000 elected officers. A new education and cooperation program is now available to Desjardins members and the general public. For more information, visit www.desjardins.com/co-opme.


For further information:

(for journalists only):

Desjardins Group
Nathalie Genest
Spokesperson
514-281-7275 or 1-866-866-7000, extension 7275
media@desjardins.com

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Maxime Chagnon
Senior Director, Media Relations
514-847-5493
mchagnon@lacaisse.com