MAGOG, QC AND QUEBEC CITY, April 26 /CNW Telbec/ - La Marché Végétarien inc. and Le Jardin Mobile have just concluded a merger transaction.  The merged entity, to be named Groupe Épicia, represents Quebec's largest specialty grocery retail network focusing on fresh produce, with over 1,400 employees and 31 stores located across he province. The two companies will continue to operate under their respective banners. Le Marché Végétarien has been established in the Eastern Townships, Centre-du-Quebec, and Mauricie regions since 1977, while Le Jardin Mobile has been implanted in the Quebec City region since 1975.

"We are very proud of our new association; we will now, more than ever, be able to provide all of our customers with the best produce on the market, at the highest quality levels, while at the same time offering very competitive pricing.  Le Jardin Mobile will continue to distinguish itself as the market leader across the Quebec City region", stated Christian Jobin, the company's general manager.  "Our intentions are to continue conducting operations under our existing banners, ensuring full continuity of our efforts to date. Groupe Épicia becomes a key player in the retail grocery market, and through this transaction, we are renewing our commitment to be the destination of choice for all of our customers," commented Marcel Paré, Le Marché Végétarien's general manager.

Messrs. Marcel Paré and Christian Jobin will co-preside the newly merged company. "This transaction is part of our overall growth strategy.  We are building a unique network across Quebec, and will continue to enthusiastically favor local producers. This merger creates new business opportunities for us across the entire province", commented the co-presidents.

Finally, Messrs. Paré and Jobin wish highlight the exceptional involvement of Champlain Financial Corporation, a key partner of Groupe Épicia, in the realization of this transaction.

About Le Jardin Mobile and Le Marché Végétarien inc.

In business for over 36 years, Jardin Mobile operates 20 grocery stores across the Greater Quebec-City metropolitain area. The chain was founded, and presided until the merger, by Mr. Rénald Jobin. Le Jardin Mobile integrates the sale of fresh produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods, organic products and bakery goods.

Le Marché Végétarien inc., based in Magog, operates a similar concept by integrating the sale of fresh produce, cheeses, prepared foods, organic products, bakery goods, and pastries, as well as specialty retail activities conducted via selected concession agreements.  The company has eleven  stores, of which seven are located across the Eastern Townships, Centre-du-Québec, and Mauricie regions operating under the "Le Marché Végétarien" banner, two in the Montérégie region operating under the "Les Arpents Verts" banner, and two located in Granby operating under the "Jardin du Mont" banner.

Over time, Le Marché Végétarien inc. and Le Jardin Mobile have built and maintained solid reputations centered on quality, freshness and diversity of their product offerings.

About Champlain Financial Corporation :

Champlain Financial Corporation is a Canadian private equity firm based in Montréal whose principal investments include : Orthofab Inc., a manufacturer of medical and mobility equipments located in Québec; Pro Hockey Life inc., based in Laval which operates across Québec under the Sports Gilbert Rousseau and Entrepôt du Hockey banners, with 22 stores located throughout Canada; Les Produits Neptune inc., a manufacturer of high-end bathroom fixtures and bathtubs based in St-Hyacinthe, and Montreal's OGILVY, a luxury department  store specializing in high-end fashions.

For more information , visit : www.champlaincanada.com

SOURCE Triomphe Marketing et Communication

For further information:

Marcel Paré, copresident, Groupe Épicia
(819) 843-9331 poste 201

Christian Jobin, copresident, Groupe Épicia
(418) 682-0344 poste 102

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