THE CAISSE INVESTS CA$259 MILLION IN SOUTH EAST WATER, A BRITISH WATER DISTRIBUTION COMPANY

MONTREAL, Dec. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (the Caisse) announced today that it completed a £165-million (CA$259-million) investment in South East Water (SEW). SEW is a regulated company that supplies drinking water to 2.1 million customers in England.

The transaction involves (1) the purchase of all SEW shares owned by Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (HDUF) (38.7%) and (2) the acquisition of a portion (11.3%) of the SEW shares held by Utilities Trust of Australia (UTA). HDUF and UTA assets are managed by Hastings Fund Management Limited (Hastings), an Australian fund manager. Following this transaction, the Caisse will own a 50% stake in SEW. The remaining 50% will be held by UTA.

"This investment is in line with our strategy to increase our infrastructure assets, an area we know well that significantly meets the investment objectives of our depositors. This company is an asset that offers stable, long-term performance potential," said Normand Provost, Executive Vice-President, Private Equity and Chief Operations Officer. "We are very pleased to invest in South East Water, whose management team has extensive expertise in regulated U.K. industries. In addition, the company occupies a dominant position in its market and its activities are carried out in some of England's most prosperous regions."

The transaction's financial closure is expected to be December 20, 2010.

ABOUT SOUTH EAST WATER
South East Water supplies top quality drinking water to 2.1 million customers in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, U.K. Each day the company supplies 565 million litres of drinking water from its water treatment works, along more than 14,000 kilometres of water mains to customers' taps. The supply draws from rivers, reservoirs and underground aquifers and covers a supply area of 5,657 square kilometres.

ABOUT 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, 2009, it held $131.6 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.

The announcement of the other transaction parties can be found at the following Websites:
www.southeastwater.co.uk
www.hfm.com.au

SOURCE CAISSE DE DEPOT ET PLACEMENT DU QUEBEC

For further information:

Maxime Chagnon
Senior Director, Media Relations
(514) 847-5493
mchagnon@lacaisse.com

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CAISSE DE DEPOT ET PLACEMENT DU QUEBEC

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