MONTREAL, April 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The Caisse de dépôt et placement du
Québec would like to respond to comments made in an April 2 La Presse article about its decision not to participate in a fourth investment
fund with Accès Capital Québec - while further supporting the growth
plans of strong, promising Québec companies, particularly through its
partnership with Desjardins.
Since 1997, the Caisse has invested $8.5 million, $20 million and $18.5
million, respectively, in three Accès Capital Québec funds. The
Caisse's participation levels have also ranged from 50% to 100%,
depending on the funds and partnerships. The Caisse has held many
discussions with Accès Capital Québec on the Caisse's participation
level and its right to oversee investments when it is the only
investor. These discussions failed to reach an agreement.
"Our decision not to participate in the fourth Accès Capital Québec fund
is based on several factors," said Luc Houle, Senior Vice-President,
Investments. First, the latest Accès Capital Québec fund posted a
negative return over 4 years, prompting us to seek more effective
governance for the Caisse to protect the interests of the institution
and its depositors."
"The business environment has changed significantly in this area,
becoming much more competitive with the Investissement
Québec-sponsored, FIER fund for startup capital, Fonds de solidarité
FTQ's additional money for business succession and the Desjardins
Venture Capital fund, whose vast network and pan-Québec representation
supports 300 companies," said Mr. Houle.
"Given this new business environment, we reviewed our strategy and
developed a partnership with a dominant player like Desjardins, which
includes a $200 million component for small Québec companies with
financing needs of less than $3 million," said Mr. Houle. "The Caisse
also decided to strengthen its internal resources for the entire
province, adding a new Québec investment group leader specifically to
handle this mandate more carefully. Lastly, the Caisse itself is about
to announce new initiatives on that front."
"The Caisse recently reaffirmed its commitment to contributing to the
expansion of Québec companies, both locally and abroad," added Mr.
Houle. "We have developed many initiatives to support them in various
ways: through financing, capitalization and sharing our expertise. We
also entered into partnership agreements with financial institutions
such as Desjardins and HSBC, making it easier for them to obtain
capital and better support their growth."
"Moreover, the Caisse's participation in projects is never permanent -
and the Caisse needs to constantly reassess its strategy based on the
best use of its capital, its mission and the changing market
environment," concluded Mr. Houle.
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, 2010, it held $151.7 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.
SOURCE CAISSE DE DEPOT ET PLACEMENT DU QUEBEC
For further information:
Senior Director, Media Relations