BDC Selects Manager for New Growth Capital Fund and Announces Investment of $75 million



    Fund fills significant void in Canadian venture capital market

    MONTREAL, May 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business Development Bank of Canada
(BDC) today announced it has selected the manager of a new private sector
growth capital fund, Tandem Expansion Fund. The fund will provide financing to
Canadian technology growth companies and fills a significant void in the
Canadian market for growth capital. BDC, which played a leading role in the
creation of the fund, will invest $75 million. These funds were provided by
the Government of Canada, which allocated $75 million in the 2008 budget to
support the creation of a new privately run venture capital fund.
    In addition to the $75 million investment from BDC, Tandem has received
preliminary commitments from a number of institutional and private investors
and expects a first close on the Fund of $300 million this summer.
    "This new fund will provide important growth capital to enable promising
Canadian technology companies to mature and compete in the global
marketplace," said Jean-René Halde, BDC President and Chief Executive Officer.
"This initiative supports the BDC's objective to build a vibrant venture
capital industry in Canada and strong domestic base of technology companies.
We believe the team at Tandem Expansion has the ideal background and
experience to oversee this fund, and we look forward to working with them on
this unique partnership."
    The general partner of the fund is Tandem Expansion, co-founded by two of
Canada's most experienced venture capital/private equity investors, Charles
Sirois and Brent Belzberg. Mr. Sirois, who was recently appointed Chairman of
CIBC, founded Telesystem in 1984, which has since invested more than $1
billion in venture opportunities of all stages through its various funds. Mr.
Belzberg is the Founder and Senior Managing Partner of TorQuest, one of
Canada's leading private equity firms with more than $700 million in private
equity capital under management.
    Tandem's day-to-day operations will be managed by a team led by four
managing partners, each of whom has significant experience identifying,
financing, building and maximizing the value of growth companies across a
range of industries:

    
    - David Bookbinder is a senior business executive with more than 25 years
      experience as an investor, operating executive and as a co-founder of
      Marsulex Inc., Chemtrade Logistics and SPI Polyols;
    - André Gauthier was previously Managing Partner of Echo Capital, a
      venture capital firm, and served as Executive Vice President and CFO of
      Telesystem International Wireless until it was sold to Vodafone in
      2005;
    - Christopher Legg was a Partner at Argo Global Capital, a venture
      capital firm based in Boston, and was previously an investment banker
      in the technology group at Credit Suisse;
    - Alex Moorhead was Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of Loyalty
      Management Group, a London, England based company created in 2001,
      which was acquired by Groupe Aeroplan for $755 million in December
      2007.
    

    All four managing partners are Canadian and will be bringing significant
international expertise back to Canada. Tandem will be based in Toronto and
Montreal, and expects to open an office in Western Canada in due course.
    Mr. Sirois and Mr. Belzberg will co-Chair the Investment Committee and
provide strategic oversight and guidance to the fund.
    "Many Canadian venture-backed companies are unable to access later-stage
funding from any private source, which causes them to seek out foreign funds,
strategic buyers or public market alternatives earlier than they should," said
Mr. Sirois on behalf of Tandem Expansion. "This fund will address a clear
market need across Canada for this kind of growth capital financing."
    "Growing Canadian technology companies need strong financial partners
that have committed skills and resources to help bring their businesses to the
next level," added Mr. Sirois. "We are very proud of the team we have built
for Tandem and believe a Canadian growth capital fund will maximize the value
of Canadian companies, improve their access to financial and strategic
liquidity alternatives and, ultimately, create world-leading Canadian firms
and technology clusters."
    In general, Tandem Expansion Fund will invest in Canadian companies that
have demonstrated technology development and commercial successes; have
previously raised capital; have experienced management teams willing to work
closely with Tandem; and have significant global growth opportunities.

    About BDC

    BDC is Canada's business development bank. From 100 offices across the
country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing,
venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. Visit www.bdc.ca for
more information.




For further information:

For further information: For BDC: Johanne Bissonnette, Media Relations
Manager, Business Development Bank of Canada, (514) 283-7929,
johanne.bissonnette@bdc.ca; Craig Armitage, The Equicom Group, (416) 815-0700
x278, carmitage@equicomgroup.com; For Tandem Expansion: Josh Pekarsky,
Longview Communications, (604) 694-6030, jpekarsky@longviewcomms.ca


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