Sollio Cooperative inks financing, CDPQ among investors

Sollio Cooperative Group, a Montreal-based agricultural co-operative, has secured a C$150 million preferred share financing.

Sollio Cooperative Group, a Montreal-based agricultural co-operative, has secured a C$150 million preferred share financing. The investors are Rabobank Capital, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Fondaction. Sollio was formerly known as La Coop fédérée.

PRESS RELEASE

MONTRÉAL, Oct. 5, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – Sollio Cooperative Group, the largest Canadian agricultural coop with roots in Quebec, is pleased to announce that Rabobank Capital, Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Fondaction will invest $150 million in its organization.

The amounts invested will be paid into Sollio Cooperative Group’s share capital as preferred shares. The proceeds of this subscription will go toward optimizing and modernizing production and supporting the product offerings from Québec and Canada.

“We’re at the tail end of a period of major growth, and this investment will help accelerate our optimization process by facilitating digitization and innovation, maintain our leadership in agri-food and retail in Québec and Canada, and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our growth plans,” said Gaétan Desroches, Chief Executive Officer of Sollio Cooperative Group. “Such a substantial investment by these reputable financial institutions attests to their confidence in our strategies and our cooperative business model.”

Rabobank, a customer-focused cooperative bank in the Netherlands and a leading global food and agribusiness bank with extensive North American operations, is joining Sollio Cooperative Group’s Québec-based institutional investors to support the organization’s development and modernization.

“This commitment is an opportunity to invest in a solid growth model and a partner who shares our focus on cooperative values and sustainable agricultural development,” said Paul Beiboer, CEO, Rabobank North America. “Rabobank is focused on driving innovation and growth in the global food system that will lead to smarter, more efficient and more sustainable agricultural practices and food distribution around the world.”

“Throughout the pandemic, Québec’s agri-food producers, transformers and workers have been working hard to keep grocery store shelves filled with quality local products,” said Gaétan Morin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fonds de solidarité FTQ. “Thanks to Quebecers’ savings, our reinvestment in Sollio Cooperative Group is an opportunity to reaffirm our confidence in agrifood SMEs, including several members of the cooperative, who are essential to the prosperity of our regions.”

“Sollio Cooperative Group plays a leading role in our agri-food sector,” said Marc Cormier, Executive Vice-President and Head of Fixed Income at CDPQ. “Its business model is built around companies that meet essential needs and have a clear economic impact on the whole of Québec.”

“Sustainable agri-food is one of Fondaction’s key investment priorities. By investing in Sollio Cooperative Group and its cooperative model, we’re strengthening our food chain and driving change in agricultural practices,” said Geneviève Morin, President and CEO of Fondaction. “We’re building on the nearly 100 years of history behind this collaborative management model that supports our collective wealth.”

ABOUT SOLLIO COOPERATIVE GROUP
Founded in 1922, Sollio Cooperative Group (formerly La Coop fédérée) is one of the largest agri-food enterprises in Québec, the only pan-Canadian agricultural supply cooperative and the 27th largest agri-food cooperative in the world. It represents more than 122,000 members, agricultural producers and consumers in 50 traditional agricultural and consumer cooperatives across several Canadian provinces. It employs more than 15,000 people and has sales of $7.282 billion. It operates through three divisions: Olymel S.E.C., Sollio Agriculture and BMR Group.

For more information about Sollio Cooperative Group, please visit sollio.coop.

ABOUT RABOBANK
Rabobank Group is a global financial services leader providing wholesale and retail banking, leasing, and real estate services in more than 40 countries worldwide. Founded over a century ago, Rabobank today is one of the world’s largest banks with EUR 620 billion in assets. In the Americas, Rabobank is a premier bank to the food, agribusiness and beverage industry, providing sector expertise, strategic counsel and tailored financial solutions to clients across the entire food value chain. Rabobank Canada services Canadian wholesale clients in the food and agricultural sectors as well as over 12,000 farmers under its farm inputs finance program.

Additional information is available on our website or on our social media platforms, including Twitter and LinkedIn.

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2020, it held CA$333.0 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

ABOUT THE FONDS DE SOLIDARITÉ FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a development capital investment fund that channels the savings of Quebecers. As at May 31, 2020, the Fonds had $13.8 billion in net assets and supported 221,267 jobs. The Fonds is a partner in 3,329 companies and has 707,935 shareholder-savers.

ABOUT FONDACTION
A trailblazer for 25 years now, Fondaction is the investment fund of those who seek to effect positive change in Québec’s economy, those who are striving to create a stronger, greener and more equitable and inclusive economy.

As a labour-sponsored fund, Fondaction represents tens of thousands of shareholders and hundreds of companies committed to Québec’s progress. Fondaction has more than $2.26 billion in assets under management, invested in hundreds of businesses and in financial markets, focusing primarily on investments that are economically, socially and environmental beneficial and generate returns. It helps create and maintain jobs and reduce inequalities, and contributes to the fight against climate change. For more information, go to fondaction.com or visit our LinkedIn page.