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Telecon Announces the Closing of a $70 Million Equity Financing

MONTREAL – Telecon Inc. has announced today the closing of a $70 million equity financing to support its continued growth as a leading provider of telecommunication network services in Canada. The transaction is being led by Clearspring Capital Partners (“Clearspring”) who will become a 35% shareholder of the company. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“Caisse”), who will maintain their 30% ownership in Telecon, and members of Telecon’s senior leadership team will also participate in the financing.

Clearspring is a leading Canadian private equity firm with a disciplined operational and financial focus on helping mid-market companies grow as leaders in their respective industries. Clearspring’s investment strategy is premised on partnering with businesses that hold a strong competitive positioning, a solid financial track record, actionable growth strategies and an industry-leading management team.

“This equity financing marks a major milestone for Telecon as we expand our Canadian footprint across a diversified suite of telecommunication network services,” said André Héroux, President and Chief Executive Officer of Telecon. “The financing and introduction of Clearspring as our new lead investor will allow us to strengthen our capital structure while also promote tight strategic and operational execution.”

“Clearspring is proud to be partnering with Caisse, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins and management to continue to grow this impressive company,” said Lawrence Stevenson, Managing Director at Clearspring. “Telecon has built very strong relationships with key customers and is led by a remarkable and experienced team. Our capital will help support Telecon’s long-term growth plans.”

Telecon has benefited from the funding and strategic support of institutional investors Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (“CRCD”) and Caisse since 2011. Both institutional investors, alongside members of Telecon’s senior leadership team, will remain shareholders of the company following the transaction.

“As demand for fiber optic networks continues to grow and the industry prepares for the arrival of 5G, Telecon is well positioned to capture growth over the long-term,” says Christian Dubé, Executive Vice-President, Quebec, at Caisse. “We are delighted to welcome Clearspring, a fund with whom Caisse often collaborates, and look forward to continuing our partnership with CRCD and the Telecon team.”

“We are very pleased to have supported the management team and the growth of Telecon since 2011, the year when we led the transition of Telecon from a family-owned business to an institutionally-backed industry leader,” said Luc Ménard, Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif. “Our long-term commitment to Telecon’s future success remains strong and steadfast and we are delighted to see Clearspring become a partner with CRCD, Caisse and the management team.”

Lawrence Stevenson has now been appointed as Chairman of Telecon’s board of directors. Mr. Stevenson holds 30 years of consulting, operating and private equity experience, dating back to 1989 as co-founder of Bain & Company Canada. Mr. Stevenson has extensive public and private company board experience and has chaired several public and private companies including SNC-Lavalin, where he currently serves as Chairman. Marie-Claude Boisvert, Partner at Clearspring, also joins the board of Telecon as a Director. Mrs. Boisvert holds over 15 years of private equity, operational and financial experience in Canada and in the UK.

National Bank Financial acted as exclusive financial advisor to the company, while BCF and Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as legal advisors to Telecon.

Bank Financing
Telecon is pleased to announce that, concurrent to the closing of the equity financing, the company’s banking syndicate has increased its combined bank lines by $60 million to $180 million. The banking syndicate is being led by Bank of Montreal and includes National Bank of Canada, Laurentian Bank of Canada, Bank of America and Bank of Nova Scotia as lenders. The increase will continue to provide Telecon with the financial flexibility required to support its operations and national growth.

About Telecon Inc.
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Telecon is Canada’s leading telecommunication network services provider. The company leverages its national presence, 3,000 employees, client relationships and 50-year history to offer industry-leading design, infrastructure and connectivity solutions to telecommunication companies nationwide. For more information, visit telecon.com.

About Clearspring Capital Partners
Clearspring Capital Partners is a leading Canadian mid-market private equity firm that invests in and acquires medium-sized companies through buyouts, growth and acquisition financings, going private transactions, industry consolidations, recapitalizations and other types of transactions. The Clearspring team works closely with the management team of its portfolio companies to ensure the creation of added value. For more information, visit cscap.ca.

About Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2016, it held $270.7 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, Caisse invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com.

About Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins
With more than 104,000 shareholders, Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins (“CRCD”) is a public company with $1,789 million in net assets. CRCD contributes to Quebec economic development through several levers developed with its manager, Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif. These levers, with CRCD as the driving force, form its entrepreneurial ecosystem designed to value and nurture the best of Quebec entrepreneurship. Directly or indirectly through its ecosystem, CRCD supports the growth of nearly 420 businesses, cooperatives and funds in various industries spanning all Quebec regions, helping to create and retain more than 71,300 jobs. For more information, visit capitalregional.com.

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Sources and Information:

Telecon Inc.
Christian Paupe, Chief Financial Officer
514-644-4425
Email : christian.paupe@telecon.com

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Jean-Benoît Houde, Senior Advisor, Media Relations
514-847-5493
Email : jbhoude@cdpq.com

Clearspring Capital Partners
Lawrence Stevenson, Managing Director
416 868-4512
Email : lstevenson@cscap.ca

Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins
Richard Lacasse
418-835-8444 or 1-866-835-8444, ext. 556316
Email : media@desjardins.com


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