To value and nurture the best of Québec entrepreneurship

Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins invests in Québec’s future by fostering the growth of SMEs

2010 – A year rich in achievements

Québec City, March 25, 2011 – At the 10th Annual General Meeting of Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins held today in Québec City, Chairman of the Board André Lachapelle announced the financial results for 2010, highlighting the Company’s numerous achievements aimed at supporting the development of Québec SMEs.

“Last year’s results are more than satisfactory given that we had to deal with a number of unforeseeable factors in the world economy. Our investment activities show that the Company’s mission of developing Québec’s economy is still relevant and necessary, and inspires hope for the future,” stated Mr. Lachapelle. He added that in 2010 Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins invested nearly $228 million in 78 companies, cooperatives and funds, thereby contributing to the retention or creation of over 36,000 jobs.

Mr. Lachapelle also took the opportunity to applaud the Québec government’s decision last week to increase Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins’maximum capital to $1.25 billion.This new provision will allow the Company – in 2011, and until the new limit is reached – to continue to raise $150 million per capitalization period. “This show of trust enables us to raise more capital to put towards growing our collective wealth and creating value across Québec. This change will undoubtedly bring about a better balance in the management of share purchases and redemptions,” added Mr. Lachapelle.

Marie-Claude Boisvert, Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Venture Capital, the Company’s manager, confirmed that Capital régional plays a key role in supporting the new generation of entrepreneurs in Québec. Ms. Boisvert particularly highlighted the $30 million investment in A. & D. Prevost Inc., a North American leader in the field of architectural aluminum. With this investment, we enabled a new generation to take over ownership of the company and also ensured that 190 jobs were retained in Richelieu, in the Montérégie. “This experience is a perfect example of the strategic role played by Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins in providing funding for entrepreneurs who care deeply about the continuity and the growth of Québec companies. We share the same vision of business and the same values,” added Ms. Boisvert.

In the same vein, Ms. Boisvert also pointed to the Company’s participation in the creation of a $50 million fund to promote business transfers. Initiated by the Québec government with a $20 million contribution, this new financial tool is backed by Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins, Fondaction and Fonds de solidarité FTQ with investments of $10 million each. This fund, which complements the financing solutions currently available, aims to provide successors with capital funding to acquire a business regardless of whether or not they are related to the seller.

About Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins

Founded in 2001, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins is a publicly traded company managed by Desjardins Venture Capital. With over 111,000 shareholders, the Company contributes to Québec’s economic development while driving the growth of cooperatives and the resource regions. Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins currently supports more than 230 companies, cooperatives and funds in various industries spanning all Québec regions. (www.capitalregional.com)

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Information (for journalists only):
André Chapleau
Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins
514-281-7229 – 1-866-866-7000, ext. 7229
media@desjardins.com

On March 25 and 26
Press room at the Québec City Convention Centre
418-649-5253