Investors team up to commit $200 million to La Coop fédérée in preferred shares

La Coop fédérée, a Montreal-based agricultural collective and Quebec’s largest agri-food enterprise, announced that National Bank of Canada, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction CSN, and Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (“CRCD”) are collectively investing $200 million in La Coop fédérée.

Founded in 1922, La Coop fédérée represents more than 90,000 members in nearly 70 cooperatives with operations across Canada. It is the only pan-Canadian agricultural cooperative.

The first installment of $100 million has already been subscribed to and the second installment will be subscribed to sometime before the end of 2018. For every $100 million segment, National Bank of Canada will contribute $45.0 million, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ $22.5 million, Fondaction $17.5 million and Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins $15.0 million.

The funds raised will support priorities in La Coop fédérée’s five-year growth plan, including acquisition and capital investment projects. The investment is in the form of preferred shares and the invested amounts are paid as share capital into La Coop fédérée.

“For an enterprise, there is no better mark of confidence than for such reputable investors accepting to support us in our growth plans with an addition of long-term capital. This investment, which comes at a time when we have just experienced our best financial results in the 95 years of our existence, will help us pursue our ambitious expansion program in Quebec, elsewhere in Canada, and even internationally,” said Gaétan Desroches, Chief Executive Officer of La Coop fédérée.

“We are pleased to partner in such a concrete way with one of the pillars of the Quebec and Canadian economies,” said Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Canada. “La Coop fédérée is a solid, high performing, and well-managed organization that has always successfully overcome the challenges of the agricultural world.”

La Coop fédérée is the 24th largest agri-food cooperative in the world. It represents more than 90,000 members grouped into nearly 70 cooperatives with operations spread out in many Canadian provinces. More than 12,000 people are employed at La Coop which has annual revenues of $6.3 billion. Including its affiliated network, La Coop fédérée has nearly 18,000 employees and consolidated revenue of $9.2 billion.

“With more than thirty years of experience in the agri-food industry, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ is increasingly a leading investor in this sector. The Fonds de solidarité FTQ identified the agri-food sector as a centre of excellence for the Québec economy and is committed to investing more in this area. Its renewed support for the growth of La Coop fédérée, which will begin its global expansion, fits perfectly into this approach,” said Gaétan Morin, President and CEO of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. “Our mission is to support local businesses that contribute to economic development and employment in all regions of Quebec, and this is what La Coop fédérée has been doing successfully for almost 100 years.”

“For us, it was only fitting to continue to support the development of La Coop fédérée” said Léopold Beaulieu, President and CEO of Fondaction. La Coop fédérée is a flagship of the cooperative world in Quebec, and a first-rate player in our economy and a leader in sustainable development, which are values that lie at the heart of our own raison d’être.”

This new financing is in addition to two major investments in preferred shares in 2012 and 2013, totaling $155 million, from the Fonds de solidarité FTQ ($75 million), Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins ($55 million) and Fondaction ($25 million).

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