BDC Venture Capital, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Solidarity Fund QFL win CVCA's 2009 Deal of the Year Award for their investment in ViroChem Pharma

MONTREAL, Sept. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Solidarity Fund QFL received the Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association 2009 Deal of the Year Award for the venture capital category. The co-investors received this recognition for their investment in Virochem Pharma.

"BDC's investment in Virochem Pharma generated an internal rate of return of 68 % and a multiple of 5.4 times original investment. We are very proud of Virochem Pharma's success and it's an honour to have been associated with a company of that calibre," said Jacques Simoneau, Executive Vice President, Investments, at the Business Development Bank of Canada. "BDC invests a lot of money and effort to help the most promising technology-based businesses develop into global leaders. We are very pleased to receive the CVCA award highlighting the success of our investment in Virochem Pharma, since it points up the catalytic role we want to play in the Canadian venture capital industry." Mr. Simoneau also congratulated Picchio Pharma and Shire BioChem for their co-investment in Virochem Pharma.

"The Caisse is proud to have contributed to the growth of this Québec company, which is now well established on the world scene," said Normand Provost, Executive Vice-president, Private Equity and Chief Operations Officer for the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. "This investment attests to the Caisse's strategy of investing in companies that perform well and are leaders in their market. The investment is also a good example of our partnership with other players in the financial community, with the goal of optimizing our business financing offer."

"The Solidarity Fund QFL has been present in all sectors of the economy and at all stages of business development for over 25 years. Its patient capital has allowed hundreds of companies to expand abroad and to create and maintain thousands of jobs in Québec. Back in 1989, the Fund was a pioneer by investing in the new economy and over the years has maintained a significant presence in this sector with over $2 billion in investments. The organization also helped Québec's biotech sector get off the ground by partnering with 40% of its start-ups. Its 12-year partnership with Biochem Pharma was extremely profitable for both sides. ViroChem Pharma, a spinoff of Biochem Pharma, in which the Fund invested some $12 million over the years, also generated excellent returns for the company. The Fund believes in this industry's potential and continues to back bold entrepreneurs. We are proud to receive this award from the CVCA," said Janie Béique, the Fund's Senior Vice-President - New Economy.

Established in 1998, the purpose of the CVCA's Deal of the Year Award is to promote, highlight and celebrate the achievements of CVCA members who have had outstanding investment successes. The selection process focuses on members with the most significant investment return during the last twelve months ending June 30, 2009.

About BDC Venture Capital

BDC Venture Capital has been involved in venture capital since 1975 and is a major venture capital investor in Canada. Active at every stage of the company's development cycle, from seed through expansion, BDC Venture Capital focuses on technology-based businesses that have high growth potential and that are positioned to become dominant players in their markets. To date, it has invested in more than 400 companies with investments totalling over $1.16 billion in the life sciences, telecommunications, information and advanced technology sectors, as well as commitments of $253 million in 19 funds. For more information, visit www.bdc.ca

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, 2008, it held $120.1 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 the Solidarity Fund QFL

With net assets of $6.4 billion as at May 31, 2009, 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 2,000 companies. It currently has nearly 571,000 shareholders and has helped, on its own or with other financial partners, to create, maintain and protect nearly 143,000 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com

SOURCE Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information: For further information: Johanne Bissonnette, Media Relations Manager, Business Development Bank of Canada, (514) 283-7929, Johanne.bissonnette@bdc.ca; Josée Lagacé, Senior Advisor, Press Relations and Communications, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, (514) 850-4835, jlagace@fondsftq.com; Maxime Chagnon, Senior Director, Media and Public and Relations, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, (514) 847-5493


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