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Desjardins acquires Aviation Division of Les Pétroles Therrien inc. and keeps operations and jobs in Drummondville

Drummondville, November 12, 2009 – It is with pride that Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins announced today the acquisition of the Aviation Division of Les Pétroles Therrien inc. in partnership with a member of the existing management team and an outside buyer. This $25 million transaction ensures the continued operations of the Aviation Division, which specializes in the distribution of jet fuel to the airline industry, and the retention of its 40 jobs.

After many years at the helm of this business, founder Léo-Paul Therrien had decided it was time to pass the torch to new management and new shareholders. This investment by Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins allows him to do so while ensuring the continuity of the business. Sylvain Touchette, Vice-President, Sales and Business Development, who guided the growth of the Aviation Division of Pétroles Therrien for over 20 years, is joined by Denis Jacob, who will serve as President and CEO of the new company – Avjet Holding inc. – to continue operations. The new company will do business under the Petro-T banner. Mr. Jacob has worked in the aviation industry for 25 years, holding a number of positions including President, Air Transat. The company’s new leaders will therefore be both Desjardins shareholders and partners.

“This investment by Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins is another example of its major contribution to the economic development of the regions, based on a unique approach to business transfer financing. Today, Desjardins assures the continuity of a successful business and the retention of jobs, while giving ownership access to a member of the management team and, eventually, through an employee shareholder cooperative, to employees,” says Yves Gagné, Vice President, Major Investments and Company Buyout, Desjardins Venture Capital, which manages Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins.

A growing business

With its strong position in the Québec marketplace, the Aviation Division of Les Pétroles Therrien inc. is a perfect match for Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins’ business transfer financing criteria.

In 1987, the Group entered the aviation fuel distribution market, becoming the first Québec business to import low-lead fuel for the aviation industry. Over the past six years, the business has posted remarkable growth – revenues from its various activities have tripled during this period.

Founder Léo-Paul Therrien, is delighted with this investment by Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins, “My top priority was the continuity of the business. An offer as complete as Desjardins’ achieves that goal, and keeps the expertise our management team and employees have developed over the years here in the Drummondville region. There’s no question that this was the best option for our Group, undertaken with seasoned leaders who truly understand our management style and in whom we have every confidence. We are extremely pleased by this partnership and move forward to the transition phase with the satisfaction of a job well done. The transaction entered into between the Aviation Division of Les Pétroles Therrien inc. and the consortium has a promising future and we are very proud of it.”

Sylvain Touchette and Denis Jacob, the two new executives and shareholders, share a common vision for the business and make no secret of their optimism regarding its future, “The strength of our team and reputation for service excellence, together with Desjardins’ financial strength and extensive network will strengthen our position in the industry and provide a solid foundation to fuel continued growth.”

Investing in the continuity of Québec businesses

Since 2005, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins has supported nearly 80 companies with business transfers. In 2007, it acquired Fempro in Drummondville, the largest Canadian manufacturer – and the second largest North American manufacturer – of private brand feminine hygiene products. In 2009, it assisted employees in establishing an employee shareholder cooperative that allowed them to acquire a portion of Fempro’s shares. These business buyout transactions by Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins contribute to maintaining and creating many jobs directly and indirectly related to the activities of these businesses in their regions, while bridging two generations of entrepreneurs.

Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins

Founded in 2001, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (CRCD) is a publicly-traded fund managed by Desjardins Venture Capital. With over 122,000 shareholders, the Company contributes to Québec’s economic development and drives the growth of SMEs and cooperatives. The purchase of shares in the fund entitles the shareholder to a provincial income tax credit equal to 50% of the amount invested. This year, authorized capital is $150 million. CRCD’s shares are sold exclusively through the Desjardins caisse network. Members and non members may purchase shares and obtain further information through the Desjardins caisse network.

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For further information:

Frederic Tremblay
514 844-6665 poste 231