Investissement Québec and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ partner with Claridge to invest in Quebec food processing companies
MONTRÉAL, Jan. 25, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Investissement Québec and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ have partnered with Claridge to create an investment vehicle to support Quebec food processing companies that show significant growth potential. This vehicle will provide companies with the financial resources, managerial and operational support, knowledge of global trends, and an extensive network of partners to support and accelerate their growth in Quebec and North America.

This new financial vehicle, with a target size of nearly $100 million, has been created by investors with a common, long-term vision that rests on a practical, patient and growth-oriented approach. The partners are ready and willing to invest many times their initial commitment to support pivotal projects.

This tool will be able to take positions in innovative food processing companies - majority or minority - with a view of developing them into North American leaders, adding value at all stages of their development.

Over the past twenty years, Claridge has invested over $400 million in a dozen food processing companies across Canada and the United States. The investment platform's management team will be led by Ludovic Dumas, Vice President, Direct Investments, and Bob Leonidas, Operating Partner, drawing on their decades of experience investing in and managing food processing companies in Quebec, Canada and around the world.

The food and beverage sector is a major component of Quebec's economy, and the food processing industry plays a crucial role in meeting the needs of consumers in local markets as well as other markets. Moving forward, many Quebec food and beverage processing companies will need to develop a global vision or work together to accelerate their growth.

A long-time partner of Quebec food processors, Investissement Québec played a key role in setting up this investment fund, injecting $35 million of its own funds. This initiative is perfectly in line with Investissement Québec's firm and concrete commitment to agri-food, which is one of the State corporation's priority sectors.

"We are proud to have facilitated the creation of this innovative new financing tool to drive the growth of key players in the local food processing sector. We recognize the strategic contribution of this industry to Quebec's economic development and that of its regions, and its essential contribution to our food autonomy," says Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec. "We're well aware of the challenges industry players are facing and will continue to work alongside partners in the ecosystem to support them and contribute to their growth."

"This new partnership, in which the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is investing $22.5 million, will improve access to long-term financing for Quebec's food processing sector," adds Janie C. Beïque, President and CEO of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. "As a result, companies in this strategic industry for Quebec's economy will be able to count on the patient capital and support they need to ensure their growth in a rapidly changing market. As evidenced by the historic $1.3 billion in investments made by our specialized agri-food team, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ considers this industry a priority sector.

"Together, we want to invest in high-quality companies to become their active partners and support their growth strategies," concludes Pierre Boivin, President and CEO of Claridge.

About Investissement Québec

Investissement Quebec's mission is to play an active role in Quebec's economic development by stimulating business innovation, entrepreneurship and business acquisitions, as well as growth in investment and exports. Operating in all of the province's administrative regions, the Corporation supports the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes with investments and customized financial solutions. It also assists businesses by providing consulting services and other support measures, including technological assistance available from Investissement Québec – CRIQ. In addition, through Investissement Québec International, the Corporation prospects for talent and foreign investment, and assists Quebec businesses with export activities.

About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ

The Fonds de solidarité FTQ invests to build a better society by channelling the savings of its 734,580 shareholders into development and risk capital investments to help Québec transition to a green economy, to a human-centred world of work, and to a healthier society. The Fonds offers businesses unsecured financing and strategic support. With $18.3 billion in net assets as at November 30, 2021, the Fonds has supported more than 3,400 partner companies and over 247,000 jobs.

About Claridge

Claridge is a Montreal-based family office that represents the interests of the Stephen Bronfman family, with a focus on maximizing long-term capital appreciation. Claridge is actively engaged in managing a diversified portfolio of investments in private companies as well as interests in third-party managed funds in a variety of industries across the globe. As a strategic financial investor, our direct equity participations span a range of industry sectors, including holdings in food, technology, entertainment, renewable energy, and real estate. Claridge focuses its investments in small and medium-sized businesses and contributes its expertise in partnership with management to accelerate growth.

Source and information

Catherine Salvail
Media and Government Affairs Advisor, Investissement Québec
Phone: 514-876-9600

Patrick McQuilken
Senior Advisor Media relations
Fonds de solidarité FTQ
Tel. : 514 703-5587

Daniel Granger
Tel : 514 232 1556