$8 million investment in Lysac Technologies inc.
Boucherville, September 5, 2001 – Lysac Technologies Inc. announced today that SGF Santé, a subsidiary of the Société générale de financement du Québec, CDP Accès Capital, a subsidiary of CDP Capital and Investissement Desjardins, the venture capital subsidiary of Mouvement Desjardins, have jointly invested a total of $8 million in the company. Founded in 1998, Lysac is a specialized technology company that researches, develops and creates commercial applications for renewable super-absorbent polymers.
The injection of $4 million in share capital by SGF Santé and $2 million each by CDP Accès Capital and Investissement Desjardins will allow Lysac to complete the first phase of its development plan. The company will expedite the international market launch of its first generation of products, quintuple the size of its research and development laboratories and complete the scale‑up of its second‑generation products, which will be used in the production of baby diapers and adult incontinence products, among other applications.
Lysac is a pioneer in the field of non‑abrasive absorbent polymers made from natural, renewable sources, SNAPs (Safe and Natural Absorbent Polymers), which it developed as an alternative to super‑absorbent petrochemicals, SAPs (Super Absorbent Polymers). SNAPs have the triple advantages of being hypoallergenic, biodegradable and food grade, so they are inoffensive to consumers and environmentally friendly.
LysorbMD, the rising star in this new category of super‑absorbents, will be used in the production of personal hygiene products such as baby diapers, feminine hygiene products and adult incontinence products. Lysac has already concluded agreements with several manufacturers in the personal hygiene industry around the world, a global market estimated at US$40 billion. SorbfreshMC, another innovative product in the Lysac line, is one of the first super-absorbent materials made from compounds with Health Canada and American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for direct contact with food. It will be used in the production of food blotters, used to wrap fresh meat and other foods.
“More and more companies are watching the new market trend of seeking out high-performance products that are also very safe. Lysac is responding to this trend by offering products that meet these new consumer demands and are also highly absorbent: our materials are comfortable, highly efficient, safe, hypoallergenic and respectful of the environment,” explained Lysac president Stéphane Chevigny.
Lysac has commercial development activities in Europe, South America, Asia and the United States, and is represented by major manufacturing agents in other parts of the world. Lysac currently has 16 employees and is planning to hire another 15 people in the very near future.
According to Claude Blanchet, SGF chairman, president and CEO, “SGF Santé’s financial support of Lysac Technologies is a demonstration of our desire to invest in the development of innovative products that are ready to move into the commercial phase and then on to the industrial production stage. The super-absorbent materials developed by Lysac, designed for the growing personal hygiene and food wrapping sectors, are a perfect example. They also demonstrate the ingenuity of our people and their contribution to the growth of the Quebec economy.”
Investissement Desjardins pointed to Lysac’s know‑how and the dynamism of the management team, which has surrounded itself with strategic partners. “This renewed investment in Lysac shows how much confidence Desjardins has in the company’s product and our desire to participate in the economic development of Quebec by supporting young world‑class companies in high&8209;potential sectors,” commented Pierre Brunet, executive vice-president of Investissement Desjardins.
Paul Juneau, president of CDP Accès Capital, remarked that manufacturers of hygiene products are constantly on the lookout for new ways to differentiate their products in order to set themselves apart in the eyes of consumers, and Lysac is offering them an innovative solution. “In fact, Lysac’s super&8209;absorbent material seems like the perfect solution to the growing environmental concerns of many consumers who are looking for quality products.”
SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE DE FINANCEMENT DU QUÉBEC
SGF Santé is a subsidiary of the Société générale de financement du Québec whose mission is to carry out economic development projects meeting normal profitability requirements, in collaboration with business partners. Since it was restructured in 1998, SGF has generated investments of about $4.4 billion, creating over 19,400 direct and indirect jobs in the operating phase, not counting the thousands of jobs created during the construction phase. As at December 31, 2000, SGF’s consolidated assets totalled $2.3 billion. SGF has 53 international partners operating in Québec. (sgfqc.com)
Founded in 1974, Investissement Desjardins is the venture capital business unit of the Mouvement Desjardins, investing in growing companies as well as in capital markets. Its mission is to add value to partner companies, and to help them achieve a solid place in their sector of activity on Canadian and international markets. Investissement Desjardins and its regional funds are partners with more than 100 growing Québec companies. Visit the web site www.desjardins.com/id.
CDP ACCÈS CAPITAL
The leading Canadian fund manager with C$125 billion of total assets under management CDP Capital, the fund management group of the Caisse de depôt et placement du Québec, offers a complete range of fund management services worldwide. CDP Capital was named “Best Fund Management Group in Canada” by the Reuters Survey 2000, a pool of 292 publicly traded Canadian companies. CDP Accès Capital, CDP Capital’s Québec network, supports small and mid-sized potential. It supports young promising companies with financing especially adapted for sponsored companies. It makes equity and debenture investments as well as participating loans of up to $2 million. Its total portfolio is valued at $106.7 million and consists of about 134 investments. Together, CDP Capital’s private-investment subsidiaries hold a portfolio valued at more than $15 billion. For more information: www.cdpcapital.com/accescapital/eng
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Lysac Technologies inc.
Société générale de financement du Québec
CDP Accès Capital