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IQ, Fonds de solidarité FTQ commit to Claridge-run food vehicle

Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ have partnered with Claridge to create a vehicle to acquire majority or minority stakes in growth-oriented Quebec-based food processing companies.

Investissement Québec and Fonds de solidarité FTQ have partnered with Claridge to create a vehicle to acquire majority or minority stakes in growth-oriented Quebec-based food processing companies. The fund, which has a target size of C$100 million, secured a C$35 million commitment from IQ and a C$22.5 million commitment from Fonds de solidarité FTQ. It will be led by Claridge’s Ludovic Dumas and Bob Leonidas.

PRESS RELEASE

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.