Nicholas-P. Pedneault and 3 senior Congebec managers buy back all company shares from Desjardins Capital, Investissement Québec and Fondaction

With establishments in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Congebec is a Canadian leader in multi-temperature storage and value-added distribution services supporting the food industry.

Quebec City, June 19, 2020 - Nicholas-P. Pedneault, President and CEO of Congebec, is proud to announce that he has become the majority shareholder of the company he's been managing since 2015. Three members of his management team will join him as co-shareholders: Guy Clairmont, Vice-President of Finance; Richard Patenaude, Vice-President of Sales and Operations; France Pomerleau, Vice-President of Human Capital, Regulatory Compliance and Communications. All 3 are key partners in Congebec's growth and future success.

To complete the transaction, Congebec turned to Desjardins Business, which partnered with Desjardins Capital, Investissement Québec and Fondaction to act as the company's lenders.

Close to $2 billion of food handled each year

"I want to thank Desjardins Capital, Investissement Québec and Fondaction for their support in 2015, which made it possible for Congebec to be transferred to the next generation," said Nicholas-P. Pedneault. "Each year, close to $2 billion of food passes through our facilities. In an industry that's seeing more and more international consolidation, it's important to offer the food industry an independent Canadian supply chain with logistics expertise and nation-wide service. Our company has grown significantly in the last 5 years. The success we've seen is thanks in large part to our 500 employees who embody our mission: to provide innovative multi-temperature fully integrated logistics solutions that ensure food safety and quality for consumers."

"Desjardins Capital has stood by Congebec since 2004," said Luc Ménard, Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins Capital. "We're a patient investor. And we've been proud to support the growth of this SME, which has become a Canadian benchmark, doubling its sales over 5 years and propelled by its outside-Quebec operations. The buying back of share capital by the company's very own senior management is very much in line with our business model, which strives to support homegrown businesses and keep them in Quebec. We're also very pleased that the board of directors we set up within Congebec in 2015 is still in effect today. To us, ensuring quality governance is just as important as providing financial backing."

"In keeping with the expanded mandate received from the Québec government, Investissement Québec aims to facilitate successful business transfers by offering buyers and sellers the support and assistance they need. This transaction is a prime example of how we strive to do that," said Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec. "As a long-standing partner of Congebec, Investissement Québec is proud to enable this Québec jewel to pursue its growth, here and across Canada, while backing a business transfer that can inspire an entire generation of entrepreneurs. We wish Congebec's managers and employees the best of luck with their growth initiatives."

"The food industry depends on high-functioning supply chains. A company like Congebec is an essential player in this field, which is why it made sense for Fondaction to help it grow and take part in its transfer to a new generation of management. We've been supporting agri-food entrepreneurs for a long time, so we were honoured to contribute to the success of this Quebec flagship," said Claire Bisson, Deputy Chief Investment Officer at Fondaction.

Congebec and COVID-19

When help was needed during the COVID-19 crisis, there was an overwhelming response from Congebec teams, who volunteered with food banks across Canada to support communities in need. "Congebec really stood out as a key partner in preventing food waste during the pandemic and providing assistance to those in need," said Jean-François Archambault, General Director and founder of La Tablée des Chefs. "Thanks to food donations and support from Quebec's chefs, we prepared over 400,000 meals. This food is stored and refrigerated at Congebec facilities. From there it's distributed to partnering food banks in the Quebec City and Montreal areas. Without Congebec's support, this initiative wouldn't have been possible."

About Congebec

Established in Quebec City in 1974, Congebec is a Canadian supplier of multi-temperature food storage and value-added distribution services supporting the food, retail, and consumer packaged goods industries. Committed to food safety, Congebec is a leader in the Canadian marketplace and is ranked 9th in North America. With more than 500 employees and 45 years of experience, the company operates 13 modern facilities, totalling more than 57 million cubic feet. These facilities are strategically located in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

About Desjardins Capital

For nearly 45 years, Desjardins Capital has fulfilled its mission to promote, support and nurture Quebec entrepreneurs. With assets of $2.6 billion, Desjardins Capital helps contribute to the longevity of approximately 530 companies, cooperatives and funds in various sectors across Quebec. In addition to helping create and maintain more than 80,000 jobs, this subsidiary of Desjardins Group offers entrepreneurs access to a large business network that supports business growth. For more information, visit the Desjardins Capital website or LinkedIn page.

About Investissement Québec

Investissement Québec's mission is to play an active role in Québec's economic development by spurring business innovation, entrepreneurship and business acquisitions, as well as growth in investment and exports. Operating in all the province's administrative regions, the Corporation supports the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes with investments and customized financial solutions. It also assists businesses by providing consulting services and other support measures, including technological assistance available from Investissement Québec - CRIQ. In addition, through Investissement Québec International, the Corporation also prospects for talent and foreign investment and assists businesses with export activities.

About Fondaction

Fondaction prides itself on investments that support and promote sustainable development. It manages $2.4 billion in assets from the retirement savings of more than 175,000 shareholders. Fondaction supports more than 1,200 SMEs involved in various areas of the social economy. The company participates in initiatives to maintain and create jobs, eliminate inequality and fight climate change. Between 2015 and 2018, Fondaction reduced the carbon footprint of its corporate bond investments by 51%. For more information, go to fondaction.com or the Fondaction LinkedIn page.

About La Tablée des Chefs

The mission of La Tablée des Chefs is to feed people in need and develop culinary education for youth. The organization reinvests most of its profits back into its social mission. To help support Food Banks of Quebec, La Tablée des Chefs created Les Cuisines Solidaires, a project that called upon the food industry and chefs across Quebec to prepare meals and feed those in need, both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

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