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An $81 M global investment project by SGF Soquia, la Coopérative fédérée de Québec and Olymel s.e.c.

Montréal, February 11, 2003 - In the presence of Maxime Arseneau, Québec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Paul Massicotte, President of the Coopérative fédérée de Québec; and Réjean Nadeau, Olymel President and Chief Executive Officer, Yves Milord, President of SGF Soquia, announced an additional investment of $25 million in Olymel, thereby increasing ownership from 17% to 22.57%. In parallel, the Coopérative fédérée de Québec invested $11 million. These investments will make it possible for Olymel to carry out projects totalling $81 million.


Olymel plant modernization project


Olymel’s first project will involve the modernization of several of its plants in order to make them more efficient. These facilities include the plants in St-Valérien, Princeville and Vallée-Jonction. Consequently, Olymel will proceed to install equipment that is at the leading edge of technology, mainly with regard to the slaughter and cutting of pork. More specifically, the Vallée-Jonction plant will undergo major renovations including the complete overhaul of its slaughter line. Furthermore, the addition of another work-shift at the St-Simon plant will allow for the creation of 190 jobs. Overall, these projects enable the company to maximize the efficiency of its plants and foster the development of exports.


50% participation in Aliments Prince


Olymel confirms its equal partnership with Groupe Brochu in the North American bacon producer Aliments Prince, and its affiliates. This increased participation in Aliments Prince coupled with the new partnership with Groupe Brochu constitute a strategic Quebec response that will make it possible to consolidate business relations and fully penetrate the North American bacon market. This new alliance will not in any way affect the operational autonomy of Aliments Prince.


Minister Arseneau said that he is extremely satisfied with the SGF’s decision, which will allow Quebecers to associate with one of the emblems of the Québec agro-food industry. “Food processing is the leading employer within Quebec’s manufacturing sector and is presently undergoing unequaled growth. This performance is due to companies such as Olymel, a leader in this field. This investment most certainly contributes to our collective wealth,” added Minister Arseneau.


“With this investment, we are reiterating our confidence in the Coop fédérée de Québec, within which Olymel is considered to be a springboard for economic development in an agro-food niche where Québec already has a significant head-start”, declared Yves Milord, President of SGF Soquia.


According to Paul Massicotte, President of the Coopérative fédérée de Québec, this re-investment in Olymel is the outcome of strategic planning that is soundly based on the sustained growth of the company and improvement of its plants. “In the coming years, Olymel is expected to enjoy significant growth thanks on one hand to the sale of value-added products throughout Canada and on the other, to the export of its products worldwide.”


“These new investments are essential in order to sustain our growth and strengthen our position on the market. All these plant modernization projects will allow us to remain the leader in terms of technology, and to satisfy even the most demanding clientele by ensuring for them that we respect the highest standards for quality,” declared Réjean Nadeau, Olymel President and Chief Executive Officer.


Canadian leader on the national and international scenes, Olymel s.e.c. slaughters, processes and markets pork and poultry meat products. Its products are available across Canada and in more than forty countries around the world. Owned by the Coopérative fédérée de Québec and SGF Soquia, it reported sales of $1.7 billion for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2002. Furthermore, it boasts a workforce of more than 9,000 employees in 18 plants in Québec, Ontario and Alberta, and each week slaughters and processes 125,000 pigs, 1,500,000 chickens and 80,000 turkeys.


SGF Soquia is a subsidiary of Société générale de financement du Québec whose mission involves carrying out economic development projects in cooperation with various partners and under normal profitability conditions. Since its restructuring in 1998, SGF has generated $10.6 billion in investments and created 56,000 direct and indirect jobs. As at December 31, 2001, SGF’s consolidated assets exceeded $3 billion. SGF includes 65 international partners operating various establishments in Quebec. (sgfqc.com)



Information :


Frédéric Krikorian
Minister’s Press Secretary Communications
Gouvernement du Québec SGF


Paul Beauchamp
Vice-President – Corporate Affairs


Jean-François Harel
Assistant Secretary General
Coopérative fédérée de Québec


Sylvia Provost


Hélène Hains
Enigma communications


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