SGF Soquia chooses Olymel and invests $50 million
Montréal, May 1, 2001 – With Minister of State for the Regions and Minister of Industry and Commerce Gilles Baril on hand, SGF Soquia Inc. –a subsidiary of the Société Générale de Financement du Québec– announced the acquisition of a $50-million (or 17%) interest in Olymel l.p. This portfolio investment, one of its principal form of participation in the agri‑food sector, allows the SGF to directly support a large‑scale, experienced, viable and internationally active Quebec business.
The SGF Soquia Inc. participation stems from a total investment of $125 million by Olymel, including $100 million for the recent acquisition of a pork slaughtering and processing plant in Red Deer, Alberta, and $25 million in various capital expenses in Quebec. This strategic investment will boost the Olymel brand on international markets, especially in Japan, where it is already strong because of the brand’s value‑added products. A 40% increase in Olymel’s export sales is expected.
Minister Baril said he was thrilled at the SGF decision, since exports bring new growth opportunities, production specialization, economies of scale and additional profits, signifying jobs and a basic enrichment and improvement of the public’s quality of life. "Quebecers are making a very good business choice by connecting with one of the stars of our agri-food industry operating in four Quebec regions: Chaudiere‑Appalaches, Eastern Townships, Lanaudiere and Monteregie. The government applauds the SGF’s initiative," he said at the press conference.
"SGF Soquia Inc. has determined that the pork and poultry production sectors are not only a growth area for Quebec, but also present significant export opportunities. Through this investment we want to continue solidifying the industry’s growth tendencies, and thereby secure jobs in this sector in Quebec. As industry leader, Olymel represents a strategic partner for the SGF," said Claude Blanchet, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of the Société Générale de Financement du Québec.
By choosing to partner with Olymel, SGF Soquia Inc. recognizes its experience in the slaughter and processing of pork and poultry. Mr. Blanchet also noted that "the breadth of Olymel’s business activities, its ability to satisfy the most demanding clients with safe, wholesome, high-quality products, and its knowledge of foreign markets –particularly Asia– make it an economic hub for the agri‑food industry, an area in which Quebec already has a significant lead.”
Olymel, the largest pork meat exporter in Canada and one of the leaders of this industry in North America, is planning to add these new funds to its own major investments in order to consolidate its assets amd support its expansion projects. “We are actively furthering our business strategy
anf this partnership with SGF Soquia Inc. will enable us to accelerate the development of high potential market opportunities, the modernization of our facilities, and the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment”, declared Olymel’s Chairman Paul Massicotte and President and CEO Réjean Nadeau.
Olymel l.p., a subsidiary of the Coopérative Fédérée de Québec, an organization of 33,000 Quebec producers, recorded sales of more than $1.3 billion in the fiscal year ending October 31, 2000. The company has close to 8,000 employees in 17 actories across Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, and slaughters and processes 22,000 pigs, 300,000 chickens and 16,000 turkeys daily.
SGF Soquia Inc. is a subsidiary of the SGF, whose mission is to create economic development projects under normal profitability conditions and in association with its partners. The SGF has generated investments in the order of $2 billion since its restructuring in 1998, creating more than 9,000 direct and indirect production jobs, as well as thousands of others created during construction phases. As of December 31, 1999, the SGF’s consolidated assets totalled close to $2 billion. The SGF has 53 international partners involved in activities throughout Quebec.
For more information:
Ministère de l’Industrie et du Commerce
Press Attaché for the Minister
Coopérative fédérée de Québec