FEMPRO employees become company shareholders

    DRUMMONDVILLE, QC, Feb. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Less than a year after
announcing the buyout of FEMPRO in financial partnership with the
Drummondville company's management team, Capital régional et coopératif
Desjardins is proud to announce that FEMPRO employees have formed an employee
shareholder cooperative to take an equity stake in their company. Over 90% of
FEMPRO employees invested $400,000 - they now hold 9.5% of the company's
shares. Less than a year ago, a $23 million transaction ensured the continued
operations of FEMPRO and the jobs it represents for the Drummondville region.
    "The creation of this cooperative is the realization of our cooperative
difference and we are extremely proud to be part of it," said Louis L. Roquet,
President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Venture Capital. "For many
years now, Desjardins has been actively involved in finding innovative
business transfer solutions. Employee shareholder cooperatives may be an
attractive option for some Québec workers, allowing them to keep their jobs,
be part of the economic development of their regions and share in the
successes of their own industries," Mr. Roquet concluded.
    Benoît Morin, President of the newly formed cooperative is delighted with
the successful outcome. "We were so proud last year when the company's
founders told us we would continue operations in the region and a number of us
really wanted to be shareholders in FEMPRO, one of Québec's most promising
companies," he said. Desjardins, a cooperative itself, was able to guide us
through the process. We also had the support of the Coopérative de
développement régional Centre-du-Québec/Mauricie - over the coming year they
will work with us to consolidate our activities," he adds.
    Jean Fleury, President and General Manager of FEMPRO is equally delighted
with the solidarity FEMPRO employees have shown toward their company. "I've
had the privilege of witnessing an extraordinary coming-together where
everyone had a common goal. We share ownership with employees who take to
heart the future of the company and the region it's grown up in for the last
20 years," he says.

    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 120,000
shareholders, the Company contributes to Québec's economic development while
driving the growth of cooperatives and the resource regions. Capital régional
et coopératif Desjardins currently supports close to 200 companies and
cooperatives in various industries spanning all Québec regions.

For further information:

For further information: Danièle Routhier, Manager, Public Affairs,
Desjardins Venture Capital, (514) 281-2211,

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