Positive Spin-offs for the Aerospace Sector: Solidarity Fund QFL Invests Close to $11 Million in FCPR Aerofund



    MONTREAL, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - The Solidarity Fund QFL (the "Fund")
today announced a new partnership with FCPR Aerofund ("Aerofund"), a
Paris-based fund specialized in the aeronautics and aerospace industry with
business ties in Toulouse, Lyon and Bordeaux. The Fund invested close to
$11 million, concluding Aerofund's financing round of approximately
$54 million (36 million euros).
    The aerospace industry has three sectors of excellence: Toulouse
(France), Seattle (U.S.) and Montréal. Because companies in this sector are
facing global issues, gaining access to a network of international contacts
provides a strategic advantage for their business development.
    "This partnership fits in with the business strategy of the Fund and
Aerofund, both of which promote the creation of global clusters, particularly
in Europe and Québec. On the one hand, Aerofund will allow Québec companies,
especially manufacturers and service suppliers, to forge ties with European
firms, potentially leading to lucrative partnerships. On the other, it will
encourage European companies interested in expanding their client base to come
to Québec, which ultimately will create jobs," stated Gaétan Morin, the Fund's
Executive Vice-President, Investments.
    For Aerofund President Thierry Letailleur, "This partnership is part of a
development strategy aimed at providing French and European companies with
access to international markets. In addition, with the impending opening of
our Montréal office, we are confident that this relationship will lead to
concrete spin-offs both in Québec and in Europe."
    A key player in the aerospace industry, Québec boasts a highly skilled
workforce and such giants as Bombardier, Bell Helicopters, Pratt & Whitney,
Rolls Royce, CAE and CMC. The industry generates $11 billion(1) in annual
sales and between 1984 and 2005 created 23,400 jobs, for an annual average
growth rate of 4.4%.(1) Today, Québec has one aerospace job for every
190 people, one of the highest concentrations in the world. According to the
Comité sectoriel de main d'oeuvre en aérospatiale (CAMAQ), more than
2,300 positions will have to be filled in Québec between November 2006 and
January 2008, mostly in SMEs.

    (1) Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de
    l'Exportation.

    About FCPR Aerofund

    Managed by ACE Management, FCPR Aerofund invests in merger, acquisition,
transfer of control and development projects in the aeronautics and aerospace
industries. Aerofund benefits from the management company's long-standing
network of partners (EADS, THALES, AREVA, SAGEM, SNECMA, GIFAS, DGA, DRIRE).
ACE Management advises and manages five other funds: UFF Innovation 3,
123 MULTINOVA, Financière de Brienne, FCPR ACE and FCPR Sécurité.

    About the Solidarity Fund QFL

    With net assets of over $6.8 billion, 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 1,681 companies. It
currently has nearly 570,000 shareholders and has helped, on its own or with
other financial partners, to create, maintain and support over 116,000 jobs.
For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com




For further information:

For further information: The telephone number provided below is for the
exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives: Josée Lagacé,
Senior Advisor, Press Relations and Communications, Solidarity Fund QFL, (514)
850-4835, jlagace@fondsftq.com


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