MONTREAL—Agropur is getting a major cash injection as six banks and institutional investors teamed up to invest a combined $470 million in the Quebec-based dairy cooperative.
La Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec invested $150 million in Agropur, while the National Bank of Canada and the Fonds de solidarite FTQ invested $75 million each, Investissement Quebec invested $65 million, and Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins and Fondaction CSN invested $55 million and $50 million, respectively.
The transaction will help with Agropur’s growth strategy, and supprt the summertime acquisitions of New Brunswick’s Northumberland Dairy Co-operative, United States-based Davisco Foods International, Inc., and the Western Canadian milk, yogurt and ice cream manufacturing operations of Sobeys Inc.
“Quebec’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,” La Caisse executive vice-president Marc Cormier said in a statement announcing the funding.
“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.”
The Fonds de solidarite FTQ executive vice-president of investments said his organization decided to invest as Agropur’s cooperative approach to supporting small enterprises in Quebec fits with its “strategy to support the development of businesses active in the agri-food sector throughout” the province.
Agropur’s brands include Natrel, Quebon, Agropur, Sealtest and Island Farms, and its 6,500 employees process more than 3.4 billion litres of milk per year at 32 plants across North America.
It is is Canada’s largest dairy co-operative.
“(This year) has been marked by historical transactions for our cooperative, while the increased competition requires that our positioning become more strategic than ever,” Agropur president Serge Riendeau said.
“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.”