Champlain Financial-led consortium to acquire Baxters Canada

An investor group led by Canadian private equity firm Champlain Financial Corp has agreed to acquire Baxters Canada Inc, a Saint-Hyacinthe, Québec-based maker of canned soups and sauces. The deal’s value was not disclosed. Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction and Investissement Québec, Champlain’s partners, are each committing $8 million. Baxters Canada was formerly an affiliate of Scotland’s Baxters Food Group Ltd and entered Canada in 2004 with the  buy of SoupExperts Inc. Fonds de solidarité FTQ’s Alain Denis said the deal will support the company in a consolidating domestic sector and help it penetrate U.S. and Mexican markets and develop new products.


Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction and Investissement Québec team up with private investors to acquire Baxters Canada Inc.

 The Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction and Investissement Québec have partnered with a group of private investors led by Champlain Financial Corporation to acquire Baxters Canada Inc.
 The Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction and Investissement Québec are each investing $8 million in this deal.
 Baxters Canada was the Canadian subsidiary of Scotland-based Baxters Food Group.
 Established in Saint-Hyacinthe, Baxters Canada manufactures products under the brands Baxters, Aylmer, Primo and under private labels.
 Products include condensed and ready-to-serve soups, broths, sauces and ready-to eat pasta and meals in packets.

Saint-Hyacinthe, June 19, 2018 – The Fonds de solidarité FTQ, Fondaction and Investissement Québec are partnering with Champlain Financial Corporation to acquire Baxters Canada Inc., a leading manufacturer of canned soups and sauces in SaintHyacinthe, Québec. The three financial partners (Fonds, Fondaction, Investissement Québec) are each investing $8 million dollars and will become Baxters Canada shareholders.

Baxters Canada Inc. was the Canadian subsidiary of Scotland-based Baxters Food Group Ltd., the leading player in the Canadian market for private label products. Still one of the largest soup manufacturers in Canada, Baxters Canada is now once again in Québec hands.

Baxters Canada serves a broad range of consumers with its three product lines (Aylmer, Primo and Baxters), and private label and industrial products. The company also strives to innovate in packaging, recipes and health positioning in order to be responsive to consumer tastes.

The company has invested in equipment for the Saint-Hyacinthe plant to support growth and meet the highest standards. The plant holds internationally recognized GFSI certification.

“With this acquisition, the Fonds can help fuel the growth of agri-food exports and position a Québec company in a mature sector that is undergoing consolidation in Canada. Baxters Canada is poised to penetrate the U.S. and Mexican markets as well as develop new products. We have confidence in the skills and experience of the management team, whose mandate will be to drive the company’s growth.”
Alain Denis, Senior Vice-President, Innovation and Agri-food, Fonds de solidarité FTQ

“We decided to participate in this acquisition, which will help preserve close to 200 quality jobs in Saint-Hyacinthe, because we have confidence in the Québec biofood sector. We’re sure that Baxters will be able to innovate to continue growing and increasing its exports abroad. The company is a member of TransformAction, a Montérégie niche of excellence. At Fondaction, we’re proud to contribute to the sustainable development of all regions of Québec.”
Geneviève Bouthillier, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Fondaction

“The agri-food sector is an important part of the Québec economy and depends on companies like Baxters for its vitality. Baxters embodies the continuous improvement mindset needed by food processing companies facing intense national and international competition. We’re pleased to particicipate in the consolidation of its position in Québec and its growth in North America.”
Pierre Gabriel Côté, President and CEO, Investissement Québec

“We have an ambitious growth plan that includes acquisitions and geographic diversification. That’s why we’re thrilled to team up with the Fonds, Fondaction and Investissement Québec, because all three partners share our vision and have the expertise and financial wherewithal to allow us to achieve our objectives.”
Daniel Cousineau, President and CEO, Baxters Canada Inc.

About Baxters Canada
Founded in 1976 as SoupExperts, the company originally manufactured ready-to-eat vacuum-packed food for the Canadian army. The Saint-Hyacinthe plant grew over the years to 90,000 square feet, allowing the company to develop its segment of canned soup and sauces for industrial and private-label customers. Following its acquisition by Baxters Food Group Ltd. in 2004, the company was able expand its customer base and acquire licences for the Aylmer and Primo de Conagra labels. Baxters sells 60 million cans a year.

About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a capital development fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments. With $13.7 billion in net assets as at November 30, 2017, the Fonds has helped create and maintain over 186,440 jobs. The Fonds has more than 2,700 partner companies and over 645,000 shareholder-savers.

About Fondaction
Fondaction has more than $1.8 billion in assets under management, consisting of the retirement savings of its 138,000 shareholders. The organization has developed considerable expertise in socially beneficial investments that combine societal, territorial, environmental and economic dimensions. Fondaction supports the development over over 1,200 SMEs.

About Investissement Québec
Investissement Québec’s mission is to foster investment growth in Québec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and prospecting for foreign investment.

About Champlain Financial Corporation
Champlain, a Canadian private holding company based in Montréal, has been building a diversified private investment portfolio since 2005 with a series of investments throughout Canada and the United States. Champlain’s core focus is to serve as a value-added partner in providing equity capital and growth management expertise to small and middle-market companies.

Information for journalists only:

Patrick McQuilken
Senior Advisor, Media Relations and Communications
Fonds de solidarité FTQ
Phone: 514 850-4835
Mobile: 514 703-5587

Isabelle Monette
Media Relations
Telephone: 514 525-5127
Mobile: 514 503-4169
Toll free: 1 800 253-6665, ext. 5127

Isabelle Fontaine
Senior Director, Public and Government Affairs
Investissement Québec
Telephone: 514 876-9359
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