The Caisse increases allocation for publicly listed small-cap Québec companies by $150 million

Portfolio increased from $50 million to $200 million

MONTREAL, April 23, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec announced that the allocation for publicly listed small-cap Québec companies will be increased from $50 million to $200 million, funds that will be invested to support the growth of more of these businesses. The free-float market capitalization of securities held in this portfolio will increase from $250 million to $400 million.

"With this specialized mandate, in addition to its other financial products, the Caisse is able to cover the entire market, and support promising public Québec companies of all sizes," said Normand Provost, Executive Vice-President of Private Equity at the Caisse. "When we invest in these small-cap companies, the idea is to help develop Québec's equity market, but the investment also serves as a springboard for these growing companies, which are often taking a position in global markets. This mandate may even allow us to identify Québec companies destined to become major success stories."

"In this very specific mandate, our investment approach is exactly the same as when we invest in private Québec SMEs: we want to become a long-term partner to these publicly listed companies and work closely with them, supporting their development projects," said Martin Garand, Investment Director and portfolio manager dedicated to this mandate.

The allocation for publicly listed small-cap Québec companies enhances the Caisse's overall financing solution and complements the existing range of financial products available to Québec companies. Since announcing the creation of this portfolio in April 2011, the Caisse has invested in six Québec companies under this mandate, including the Mercator Transport Group.

"Being able to count on the Caisse at this stage in our development has allowed us to grow our international operations that much faster," said Jean-Pierre Apélian, CEO of Mercator Transport. "For a Québec company like ours with a market capitalization of under $250 million, it can be extremely difficult to carve out a place in global markets. The fact that we have the support of a financial partner as strong and credible as the Caisse has opened doors and given us additional momentum."

The changes made to the mandate dedicated to publicly listed Québec small-cap companies will take effect on May 1, 2012.

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. As at December 31, 2011, it held $159.0 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, the Caisse invests in major financial markets, private equity and real estate. For more information: www.lacaisse.com.

For further information:

Sarah-Émilie Bouchard
Senior Advisor and Writer, Media and Public Relations
514 847-5493
sebouchard@lacaisse.com