Desjardins Financial Security Acquires Real Estate from the Soeurs de la Charité de Québec in Lévis



    LEVIS, QC, Oct. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Desjardins Financial Security has
acquired a sizeable real estate complex in Lévis belonging to the Soeurs de la
Charité de Québec. This 40,000 m2 property is home to eight buildings
including the Centre d'accueil Saint-Joseph de Lévis, an 'under agreement'
long-term care facility (CHSLD) with 157 beds, and the Résidence Louis-Edouard
Couture, a 25-bed 'not under agreement' facility.
    This transaction is in line with the Company's investment asset category
and geographical diversification objectives. "With long-term performance risk
management and the evolving needs of an ageing population in mind, we feel
that the time is right to increase our real estate holdings," indicated
Desjardins Financial Security's Senior Vice-President of Finance,
Mr. François Drouin.

    Administration entrusted to Groupe Champlain

    Mr. Drouin also confirmed that Desjardins Financial Security has
absolutely no intention of running the Centre d'accueil Saint-Joseph de Lévis
despite the fact that a decree recently issued by the Conseil des ministres du
gouvernement du Québec has granted the Company the necessary authorization to
do so. "We do not wish to become involved in health care management. As such,
we will be proceeding as we do for the seniors' homes we already own by having
an external administrator, recognized for its ability to maintain the high
quality standards which seniors and their families can expect, manage the
CHSLD and the Résidence Louis-Edouard Couture. Desjardins Financial Security
has chosen Groupe Champlain (http://www.groupechamplain.qc.ca), a subsidiary
of Sedna Health Group which currently manages 16 CHSLD-type 'under agreement'
facilities in nine regions across Quebec. The President and CEO of Sedna,
Mr. Michel Clair, indicated that his organization "will place at the disposal
of residents and patients all the skills and expertise acquired over the years
that have made Groupe Champlain a leader in long-term care and housing in
Quebec." To ensure that patients continue to receive services and care with
the level of efficiency and consideration which they have come to expect, no
changes will be made to the CHSLD management team.
    Desjardins Financial Security would like to further mention that the
Company has not acquired this property with the intent of combining its life
and health insurance and real estate activities to advantage its clients in
any way. "Under no circumstances will Desjardins Financial Security be
offering its clients preferred access to a bed in a CHSLD or accommodations in
any other residential property which it owns, nor will the Company provide its
clients with any type of discount," added Mr. Drouin. "Not only would this
type of practice go against Desjardins Group's philosophy, but it is also
prohibited under the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and
services."
    The Senior Vice-President of Finance at Desjardins Financial Security
would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Soeurs de la
Charité de Québec who, by selling their property, are winding down 130 years
of active involvement in the Lévis community. "We owe them our appreciation
and I would like to thank them for this long-term commitment to the population
of Lévis, particularly in taking care of the orphans, persons with mental
health disabilities and seniors they have helped with tireless dedication
since 1879."

    About Desjardins Financial Security

    Desjardins Financial Security is a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, the
largest integrated cooperative financial group in Canada, and specializes in
group and individual life and health insurance, and retirement savings
products and services. Every day, over 5 million Canadians rely on Desjardins
Financial Security to ensure their financial security. With a staff of over
3,700 employees, Desjardins Financial Security manages and administers over
$22 billion in assets from offices in major cities across the country,
including Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec,
Lévis, Halifax and St. John's. For more information, visit
http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com.




For further information:

For further information: Claude Beauchamp, Senior Director of
Communications, (418) 838-7800, toll-free 1-800-463-7870, ext. 7664,
claude.beauchamp@dfs.ca; Virtual pressroom:
http://www.desjardinsfinancialsecurity.com/press


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