Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec invest $18.6 million in Québec

MONTREAL, Dec. 4, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Between May and September 2012, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec have jointly invested $18.6 million in companies throughout Québec. The investments were made by the Capital croissance PME fund created in 2010. The fund offers small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to pursue their expansion and growth projects.

More than 100 Québec companies have benefited from the program
With this series of new investments, more than 100 Québec companies have now benefited from the Capital croissance PME program. To date, under their agreement, Desjardins Group and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec have jointly invested close to $150 million in about 110 Québec companies.

"These investments meet certain needs of Québec companies related to their modernization or growth or even the expansion of their operations locally or abroad," said Luc Houle, Senior Vice-President, Investments, at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. "This partnership enables the Caisse's ability to optimize its offering to promising small companies throughout Québec, while generating returns for its depositors."

According to Marie-Claude Boisvert, Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Venture Capital, which manages Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins, the positive results in the first two years of existence of this financial lever prove that the entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive and well in Québec. "We've supported more than 100 entrepreneurs whose ideas and talent have enabled them to capitalize on the resources we offer. There's a fresh wind blowing through the regions, and the impacts are increasingly visible."

Companies financed in recent months 

Autobus Dionne
Autobus Dionne, formerly known as Transport A.S.D., manages a fleet of specialized vehicles used for school transport, paratransit, public transit and charter service. This Rimouski company serves the Bas-Saint-Laurent region with about 30 employees.

Autobus Dufresne inc.
This transportation company, whose head office is in Sainte-Martine in the Montérégie region, has about 40 employees. Autobus Dufresne was established in 1956 and specializes in school and inter-municipal transportation.

Bonneterie Richelieu (Montréal)
The Montréal-based company produces and distributes socks for men, women, children and babies, in addition to tights. Established in 1934, Bonneterie Richelieu has over 100 employees currently working at its head office and in its branches in Ontario and North Carolina.

VU optometry clinic
Located in Thetford Mines, VU is an optometry clinic that sells glasses, contact lenses and related accessories. The head office is located in Clermont, in the Charlevoix region. Approximately 20 employees are ensure that the company runs smoothly.

DEK Canada
The Dorval-based company is a major distributor and manufacturer of parts for automated garage doors and gates. DEK Canada, established in 1960, has close to 15 employees.

Entreprises D'Auteuil et fils inc.
Les Entreprises D'Auteuil et fils inc. was established in Baie-des-Sables in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. In business for over 35 years, the company specializes in civil engineering works and heavy machinery leasing. Les Entreprises D'Auteuil et fils has approximately 50 employees.

Fibres Serden inc.
The Saint-Hyacinthe-based company manufactures boxes for van-style trucks for the Maranda brand. Close to 60 employees work at Fibres Serden, established in 2004.

Gesdix
Established in 1986, this thriving company manages a Montmagny-based residence for autonomous seniors. Gesdix has 35 employees.

Gestion Vision Globale
The solidly established Montréal company has been providing an integrated solution for selling new and used text books to schools since 1998. Gestion Vision Globale, which has successfully implemented its text book sales system in more than 15 different branches, and counts on its 60-some employees as it continues to expand.

GEM Experts en sinistres
Formerly known as Gestions F. Dumouchel ltée, this company specializes in assessments following claims. Approximately 30 employees work in the company's offices in Montréal, Québec City and the Saguenay.

Innotex inc.
This Richmond-based company, in the Centre-du-Québec region, specializes in the manufacture of fire-retardant apparel and exports its products internationally. Established in 1999, Innotex has 110 employees.

M.C. Crystal
Wholesaler and distributor of maintenance products and equipment for the installation, renovation and sanding of hardwood floors, M.C. Crystal of Montréal has enjoyed the expertise of dedicated employees since its inception in 1988.

Messagerie du Fjord
Established in 1987, Messagerie du Fjord has become a large-scale company in the courier and transportation industry in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Chibougamau-Chapais and North Shore region. This Saguenay-based family business relies on the dedication of its 40-some employees at its head office and in its Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and North Shore offices.

Moment Factory
This Montréal-based company established in the early 2000s has built an international reputation in the world of design and production of multimedia environments for artistic and sporting events. Over 100 people work at Moment Factory.

Plomberie Ste-Croix inc.
Plomberie Ste-Croix inc. specializes in plumbing, heating, pumps and water treatment. The Sainte-Croix-based company, established in 1990, is active in the residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural sectors in the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches regions. Plomberie Ste-Croix inc. has over 30 employees.

About the Desjardins and the 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 companies.

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 leading 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, 2011, it held $159 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.

About Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins
Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins is a publicly traded company managed by Desjardins Venture Capital. With close to 105,000 shareholders and net assets of $1,350 million, the Company contributes to economic development by valuing and nurturing the best of Québec entrepreneurship. Directly or indirectly through partner funds, CRCD supports the growth of more than 300 companies, cooperatives and funds in various industries spanning all Québec regions. (www.capitalregional.com).

About Desjardins Group
Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada with assets of nearly $200 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 5.6 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. Best Corporate Citizen in Canada for 2012 and among Canada's Top 100 Employers, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 44,645 employees and the commitment of nearly 5,400 elected officers. A new education and cooperation program is now available to Desjardins members and the general public. For more information, visit www.desjardins.com/co-opme.


SOURCE: DESJARDINS GROUP

For further information:

(for journalists only):

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Jean-Benoît Houde
Senior Advisor, Media Relations
514-847-5493
jbhoude@lacaisse.com

Desjardins Group
Richard Lacasse
Media Relations Advisor
418 835-8444 or 1 866 835-8444, ext. 3163
media@desjardins.com


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