Agropur coopérative secures $470M growth capital

Agropur coopérative secures $470M growth capital
December 18
12:22 2014

Agropur coopérative, Canada’s largest dairy cooperative, has received $470 million growth capital, in the form of preferred units, from Québec’s major institutional investors led by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

The investment supports the cooperative’s growth strategy and finances its recently announced acquisitions, including the dairy processing assets of Davisco, Sobeys and Northumberland. As a result of these acquisitions, Agropur now ranks among the largest North American dairy product processors.

Caisse led the financing with $150 million investment. National Bank and Fonds de solidarité FTQ invested $75 million each. Investissement Québec, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (CRCD), and Fondaction CSN invested $65 million, $55 million, and $50 million respectively.

Based on certain conditions, Caisse’s stake could reach $300 million at the next issuance of preferred units.

“Québec’s high-performing businesses achieve economic growth notably when they expand into new markets, and the investment in Agropur Cooperative is ideally aligned with this approach,” said Marc Cormier, EVP of Fixed Income for Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. “Through this injection of capital, La Caisse is enabling Agropur to accelerate its long-term growth and in turn strengthen its leadership position in the dairy processing industry.”

“For 76 years, Agropur Cooperative has been central to the success of Québec dairy farmers who are also hundreds of SMEs throughout the province,” said Normand Chouinard, EVP at Fonds de solidarité. “That is why the Fonds de solidarité FTQ’s investment in Agropur’s North American expansion fits perfectly with our strategy to support the development of businesses active in the agri-food sector throughout Québec.”

“Agropur’s international-calibre expertise is a source of great pride to all of us,” said Yanick Blanchard, EVP of Credit Capital Markets at National Bank. “With this major new investment, National Bank continues to enthusiastically support the development of the agri-food sector and the work of dairy farmers in many regions.”

“This transaction speaks to the important role that cooperatives play in our economy, as well as to the importance of the complementary work carried out with Investissement Québec and other economic actors to create growth-generating projects, whose spinoffs benefit all Quebecers,” stated Jacques Daoust, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports.

“We’re proud to stand with Agropur and their 3,473 members and dairy producers. The acquisitions made by this flagship of the Quebec cooperative sector will create more wealth locally for years to come,” said Marie-Claude Boisvert, COO of Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif.

“The growth of Agropur throughout North America will have positive social and economic spinoffs. It is with great pride that Fondaction helps to ensure the sustainability of this leading cooperative and the prosperity of its producer members in Québec,” said Geneviève Morin, Chief Investment Officer at Fondaction.

“The year nearing completion has been marked by historical transactions for our cooperative, while the increased competition requires that our positioning become more strategic than ever,” said Agropur President, Serge Riendeau. “To help support Agropur’s growth and sustainability, we have placed our confidence in our highly regarded financial partners, who are capable of supporting our development while keeping Agropur’s control and ownership in the hands of its members.”

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