Claridge Inc: Stephen Bronfman Montreal private investment firm
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Claridge is a private investment firm
headquartered in Montreal, Quebec.

Claridge represents the interests of the Stephen Bronfman family and is actively involved in the management
of a diverse portfolio of investments in private equity, hedge funds, public equities, and real estate.



About Us

Building together. Making an impact. Creating a legacy.

History Community Involvement


History



The entrepreneurial Bronfman family has been seizing opportunities for over two centuries. From humble beginnings as a Russian immigrant at the end of the nineteenth century, the family patriarch Samuel Bronfman began to build what would become the largest distiller in North America. Under his leadership, the Bronfman family established itself as a pioneer of the Canadian industrial landscape and built a crown jewel of the emerging Canadian economy. As a direct beneficiary of the fortune created from the Seagram empire during its 80 year period under Bronfman control, the family office multiplied the value of the Seagram cash flow by continually reinvesting in a myriad of ventures, ranging from chemical production to real estate. Claridge, founded in 1987 by Stephen Bronfman’s father Charles Bronfman, and its predecessor company, Cemp Investments Ltd., have been active private equity investors for over five decades. The firm employs some 30 investment and administrative professionals. Our portfolio composition is carefully shaped to reflect the optimal mix between economic sectors and geographies. Direct equity participations currently include holdings in food, real estate, technology, entertainment, and renewable energy, among others. Claridge also has third-party managed investments in a variety of industries throughout the world. Claridge has thrived through many economic cycles. Our investment experience, coupled with our expertise in identifying transformational opportunities and adding value to portfolio companies, has helped us achieve superior risk-adjusted returns over the long term.
Seagrams Cadillac fairview Dupont MGMGrand Universal Cineplex Expo


Community Involvement



 
Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation Claudine and Stephen Bronfman carry on the long philanthropic tradition initiated by previous generations of Bronfman family members. As doing business is in the family’s DNA, so is philanthropy. Claridge employees are inspired by the family’s leadership. Their community involvement is also encouraged and matching funds for employee donations are provided. Many employees regularly participate in activities in support of a number of causes. Forward thinking, strategic and nimble, the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation strives to create and innovate locally, nationally and internationally, with a strong focus on Montreal. The important operating guidelines of the foundation are:
  • Engagement and empowerment of emerging talent that encourages the development of human potential and that recognizes and celebrates individual and collective ingenuity.
  • Investments that favour the environment, culture, education, entrepreneurship and Jewish life.
  • Active research and documentation that identifies and analyses challenges confronting communities.
  • Continuous evaluation, both internally and externally, that further strengthens the foundation’s impact.
  • Targeted networks and partnerships allow the foundation to build on the best practices that answer needs with concrete solutions and that broaden its reach.
  • Constantly moving ahead to not only do more, but also aspiring to always do better, the foundation is committed to live every day by its motto “créer et innover”.
image - community


Private Equity

Actively backing the entrepreneurial spirit with more than capital.

 Criteria  Investment Strategy  Differentiation  Added Value  Management Style


Criteria





We are a growth-oriented investor with experience across a variety of economic sectors. We seek to partner with and invest in high-quality businesses with strong and defensible market positions. These types of businesses tend to have the following characteristics:

Outstanding, committed management teams
  • Experienced, successful, and ambitious teams demonstrating deep industry insight.
  • Management with “skin in the game” investing alongside us.
  • Strong, positive corporate culture.
  Industries with attractive fundamentals
  • Compelling long-term industry fundamentals.
  • Minimal risk of obsolescence and disintermediation.
  • Meaningful barriers to entry.
  • Attractive return on invested capital.


Companies with good revenue and cash flow growth potential
  • Outpacing industry revenue growth.
  • Healthy operating margins.
  • Opportunities to implement operational value creation initiatives.
  • Predictable and growing cash flows.
  Differentiated companies with global potential
  • Demonstrated market leadership.
  • Strong brands and intellectual property.
  • Competitive advantages that provide the ability to withstand material changes in the economic environment.


Investment Strategy





We target mid-market companies in Canada and the United States. Our flexible approach is well-suited to management teams and owners seeking a value-added and long-term partner. In this role, we often provide strategic and operational support, relationships, capital to fund growth initiatives, and a more conservative approach to leverage. Investment structure
  • Majority or significant minority equity investments.
  • We have the flexibility to pursue a range of investment structures as well as transaction types.
    • We evaluate each potential transaction based on its own merits. We favour simple investment structures that meet the unique needs of sellers.
    • We prefer control, but also invest in significant minority situations where we have strong influence over the company’s destiny.
Investment Size / Equity Cheque
  • Minority investments requiring approximately $5 million of equity contribution.
  • Majority investments requiring approximately $15-$30 million of equity contribution.
  • We have the capability to underwrite larger transactions and we are willing to work with partners.
Ownership Types
  • Our approach can appeal to family-owned businesses and select public and sponsor-owned companies.
Transaction Types
  • Growth capital.
  • Management led buy-outs.
  • Shareholder liquidity.
  • Ownership transitions.


Differentiation





We are differentiated by our entrepreneurial family business mindset, flexible investment approach, global relationships, value creation capabilities, strong integrity, use of reasonable leverage, and long-term investment horizon. Patient Capital
  • We have a longer-term outlook than most investors. Unlike traditional private equity firms, we have an owner mindset and a longer time horizon to allow for the maximization of value with each of our operating companies.
  • Not having a predetermined fund life gives us the flexibility to make long-term decisions for the well-being of the company.
Flexible investment structuring
  • Broad investment mandate gives us the flexibility to pursue a range of investments types.
  • Simple investment structures meet the unique needs of sellers.
  • We can be a significant minority partner and although we prefer to invest at the equity level, we have the ability to invest throughout the capital structure of the company (mezzanine debt and equity).
Entrepreneurial family business mindset
  • Flat and agile operating structure enables us to make decisions quickly and provide prompt feedback.
  • Unlike institutional funds, we do not have multiple committees to reach a consensus to obtain required authorizations.
  • We report to one owner who plays an integral role in decision-making and works closely with the senior leadership team.
Balanced approach to leverage
  • We understand the benefits and risks of financial leverage.
  • We use conservative leverage and construct optimal capital structures to provide sufficient flexibility to maneuver through economic cycles and reinvest cash flows to grow the business.


Added Value





This is why we are a successful private equity investor: Extensive international network
  • Financial investments span North America, Europe, and Asia.
  • The Bronfman family and our investment professionals have extensive relationships with senior decision makers in multiple industries on a global scale. Our portfolio companies leverage the relationships that the Bronfman family have built through generations of doing business.
Strong strategic and operational support
  • Our executives have distinguished international track records with large and small organizations in diverse sectors. This broad experience allows us to guide management teams through challenging decisions.
  • Global perspective enables us to identify sectors with potentially better opportunities, make key introductions to new markets, recruit new personnel, and make acquisitions.
Financial expertise
  • Comprehensive financial expertise and extensive relationships in the business and financial community can be leveraged by our portfolio companies in the context of mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, and financings.
Governance
  • We take governance seriously and adhere to the highest industry standards. Our governance requirements are similar to those of institutional funds and relate mostly to capital allocation and reporting.
  • We are not involved in day-to-day operations of our portfolio companies, preferring to delegate responsibility to the management team.
  • We put in place strong boards formed with members that bring experience and sector knowledge to our partners.


Management Style





Our management style plays a major role in our success and it is one of the reasons entrepreneurs and management teams want to work with us. We are not only chosen for our capital, but also for the type of partnership and guidance we can offer. Claridge challenges its portfolio teams to excel and, through respectful and symbiotic relationships, we tend to complement our partners well. Claridge’s differentiating characteristics go far beyond the expected in the industry, and upon meeting our team, new partners quickly realize what makes us unique. Our portfolio teams are put together to reflect a unique mix of experience and entrepreneurial spirit, which has proven to be extremely efficient. Hard-working and honest, our staff is entirely committed to growing your business in a way that is as enjoyable as it is profitable.
  • Open and direct communication.
  • Regular, on-going dialogue.
  • Collaborative approach with management.
  • Trust and integrity – we keep our word.
  • Focus on true value creation, not short term profits.
  • Result oriented.
  • Good corporate citizen.


Real Estate

We have built a wealth of knowledge.

image - Real Estate 1 Our investments in real estate started in the 1950’s when we established what ultimately became, Cadillac Fairview, which grew to become one of North America’s leading developers, owners and managers of commercial real estate.

Following the sale of Cadillac Fairview in 1987, Claridge’s focus shifted to participating in the development and ownership of commercial and residential real estate by partnering with experienced and capable real estate companies. This remains Claridge’s real estate investment strategy today, predominantly in Montreal and Quebec City, but also in Ottawa and Toronto.

In 2016, Claridge established a real estate investment platform to broaden its capability to participate in development projects with Quebec-based developers. This platform is managed by Claridge Real Estate and comprises two investors – Claridge and Ivanhoe Cambridge. As of the end of 2020, over $200 million of equity has been deployed in 19 distinct development projects in the Greater Montreal Area and Quebec City. In addition to the Claridge/Ivanhoe Cambridge partnership, which is focused on investing in Quebec, Claridge has invested in several development or re-development projects in Ottawa and Toronto, in each case as a financial partner, with well-known and highly regarded local developers.

image - Real Estate 3 Our focus remains investing in development and re-development projects in Quebec and Ontario, with a particular emphasis on residential, industrial and mixed-use opportunities. Over the past 10 years, we have participated in numerous development projects involving condominiums, rental apartments, seniors housing, single-family and townhomes, design-build industrial, design-build office and industrial to office conversion projects.

We are a knowledgeable financial partner that seeks to add value to our relationships with our development partners by participating in major decisions throughout the development process, while allowing our development partners to exercise their development responsibilities in a diligent and efficient manner.



Third-Party Managed Funds

Selectively partnering with the best managers worldwide.

We diversify our active direct investment practice through funds investments leveraging resources in different markets and industries, and invest globally with a select number of third-party managers allocating capital to different strategies and asset classes that offer superior risk-adjusted returns. Our third-party managed funds include long only public equities, hedge and private equity funds. Public equities managed funds are comprised of Canadian equity and foreign equity using a combination of active and index-replication strategies.   Hedge funds are used to reduce volatility and risk in the portfolio while attempting to preserve capital and deliver positive returns under all market conditions. Our hedge portfolio is allocated across a spectrum of strategies with a focus on long/short equity funds, event-driven/distressed funds, and multi-strategy funds. Our private equity funds program is invested globally with some of the world's leading private equity funds that we have strong relationships with.   We aim to achieve diversification through investment strategy, sector, geography, fund manager, and vintage year. Our focus is on large- and middle-market buyout and growth equity funds in North America, Europe and to a lesser extent in emerging markets. We also invest in real estate, credit and special situations funds. We are also very active in co-investments with our private equity partners. Since our first investment in a private equity fund in 1998, we have invested in over 80 private equity and real estate funds and a dozen co-investments.


 

Select Investments

A track record of success in building companies across several sectors.

Our direct private equity portfolio spans food and restaurants, media and entertainment, real estate, and technology. Here is a selection of our success stories.


Our Management Team

A unique mix of entrepreneurial thinking, deep financial expertise and integrity.



News



 

Contact us

Address: 1170 Peel, suite 800
Montreal, QC, H3B 4P2
Phone: 514 878 5200


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