Société générale de financement du Québec invests in TPG Capital's acquisition of Axcan Pharma Inc.

    SGF takes part in TPG Capital's $1.3-billion privatization of Axcan

    MONTREAL, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Société générale de financement du
Québec (SGF) is investing $60 million in debt and equity towards the
acquisition of Axcan Pharma Inc. by TPG Capital. With this investment, SGF is
taking part in a $1.3-billion transaction initiated by TPG Capital to take the
company private. Axcan employs almost 450 people, including 150 in Québec. It
also has offices in the United States and Europe. Axcan's head office will
remain in Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Québec.
    Axcan, which was founded in 1982, focuses on the field of
gastroenterology where it develops and markets a wide range of branded
pharmaceutical products in more than 40 countries. Its main drugs are used to
treat exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (ULTRASE, PANZYTRAT and VIOKASE),
certain liver diseases (URSO/URSO 250, URSO FORTE/URSO DS and DELURSAN),
certain diseases causing intestinal inflammation (SALOFALK and CANASA) and
gastric and duodenal ulcers (CARAFATE/SULCRATE).
    SGF's President and General Manager, Pierre Shedleur, said he was
delighted with the investment. "This partnership will enable us to invest in
the growth plan of an outstanding Québec company with the potential to become
the reference gastroenterology specialty pharmaceutical company. We're also
proud to be associated with TPG Capital, one of the most highly regarded and
performing private equity firms."
    "We're very pleased with SGF's confidence in us," said Dr. Frank Verwiel,
President and Chief Executive Officer of Axcan. "We're very enthusiastic about
being able to oversee the Company's new growth phase with our investment

    About Axcan Pharma Inc.

    Axcan is a leading multinational specialty pharmaceutical company focused
on gastroenterology. The company develops and markets a broad line of
prescription products to treat a range of gastrointestinal diseases and
disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome,
cholestatic liver diseases and complications related to pancreatic
insufficiency. Axcan's products are marketed by its own specialized sales
forces in North America and Europe and through commercial collaborations in
many markets around the world. Its common shares are listed on the NASDAQ
Global Market under the symbol "AXCA" and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under
the symbol "AXP."

    About Société générale de financement du Québec

    Société générale de financement du Québec (, an industrial
and financial holding company, has a mission to carry out economic development
projects, with emphasis on the industrial sector, in co-operation with
partners and on standard profitability conditions, in accordance with the
economic development policy of the Québec government.


    Marie-Claude Lemieux
    Senior Advisor, Communications and Media Relations
    Société générale de financement du Québec
    Tel.: (514) 876-9368

    -%SU: TAX,SAN
    -%RE: 1

For further information:

For further information: Marie-Claude Lemieux, Senior Advisor,
Communications and Media Relations, Société générale de financement du Québec,
(514) 876-9368

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