A $12.25 MILLION INVESTMENT - Partnership between the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Desjardins Group

MONTREAL, May 25, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (the "Caisse") and Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins ("CRCD") have announced new investments in Québec totalling $12.25 million. The funds will enable ten companies located in Québec City, Montréal, and the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Eastern Townships, Centre-du-Québec and Côte-Nord regions to increase productivity and pursue growth projects to maintain their competitiveness. The new financing boosts to more than $73 million the amount invested by the Caisse and Desjardins Group in some 20 companies since the beginning of their partnership in 2010.

"The objective of the Caisse was twofold: identify businesses with bright futures to contribute to Québec's economic development, and seize every opportunity to earn attractive returns for our depositors," stated Luc Houle, Senior Vice President, Investments, at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. "Since the creation of our partnership with Desjardins Group, we have been better able to target growing businesses across the province, and we are confident that this will earn us attractive returns over the long term."

Marie-Claude Boisvert, Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Venture Capital, which manages CRCD, said that with the partnership between Desjardins and the Caisse approaching its first anniversary, the results to date have been very positive. "The business people we are working with have ambitious plans, and their enthusiasm and drive are contagious," she says. "For them, simple, flexible access to capital is key to their growth, and this accounts in part for the enormous popularity of our financing tool."

Ten companies: $12.25 million

Cam-Trac Sag-Lac Inc.
Focused on the sale, leasing and repair of forestry equipment and products, this Chicoutimi-based business founded in 1988 employs 24 people.

Mécanique Plomb O Gaz
A general contractor specializing in the manufacture and installation of heating systems and industrial piping. Founded in 2003, the business has 50 employees in Chicoutimi.

Panorama Helicopters
Since 2001, this company in Alma, which employs approximately 30 people, has provided helicopter charter services.

La Forfaiterie inc.
Created in 1997 and based in Stoneham, the company offers retail packages through a network of 17 outlets in Québec that employ some 60 people.

Stuart Packaging
A producer of folding cartons, based in the Town of Mount Royal. Founded in 1983, the company has approximately 60 employees and ships its products throughout eastern Canada and the U.S. northeast.

Attraction Media Inc.
Established in 2002 and employing 85 people in Montréal, the business is an association of companies specialized in motion picture, television, advertising, and event production.

Les Solutions Victrix inc.
Founded in 2003 and employing 140 people in Montréal and Québec City, this IT services and communication infrastructure company serves SMBs, large companies, and government bodies across Québec.

A services company specializing in the dredging, dewatering and disposal of waste sludge from municipal and industrial sedimentation ponds. Founded in 2005, the business has 20 employees in St-Denis de Brompton in the Eastern Townships.

VIF Moulds and Plastics Industries Ltd.
Subcontractor manufacturer of moulded and injection plastic parts. Founded in 1973, the company employs approximately 100 people in St-Hyacinthe.

Pavages Nordic
Contractor specialist in asphalting and asphalt paving blocks. Established in 2007, the business has 50 employees in Baie-Comeau.

About the Desjardins and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec partnership

In 2010, Desjardins Group and the Caisse announced a $600 million agreement aimed at supporting the expansion and growth of Québec SMBs. The agreement includes two distinct components: one for small companies and another for medium-sized businesses.

The first part of the agreement involves a $200-million fund, Capital Croissance PME, to meet the financing needs of small Québec companies, primarily in the form of subordinated loans of less than $3 million. Desjardins Venture Capital, a subsidiary of Desjardins Group, is the exclusive manager of this fund and an equal partner alongside the Caisse and Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins.

The second part of the partnership involves $400 million for the financing of successful medium-sized companies with good growth and profitability potential.

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. As at December 31, 2010, it held $151.7 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: http://www.lacaisse.com.

About Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins

Founded in 2001, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins is a publicly traded company managed by Desjardins Venture Capital. With over 111,000 shareholders, the Company contributes to Québec's economic development while driving the growth of cooperatives and resource regions. Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins currently supports the growth of more than 230 companies and cooperatives in various industries throughout Québec. (http://www.capitalregional.com/)

About Desjardins Group

Awarded the coveted title "Bank of the Year 2010 - Canada" by the UK magazine The Banker, Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest in the world, with assets of over $184 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty Insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. As one of the largest employers in the country and one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate CulturesTM of 2010, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 42,500 employees and the commitment of nearly 6,000 elected officers. For more information, visit www.desjardins.com.


For further information:

(for journalists only)

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Maxime Chagnon
Senior Director, Media Relations

Desjardins Group
Nathalie Genest
Media Relations Advisor
514-281-7275 or 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7275

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