CANADA -French multinational food processing company the Bonduelle Group is adding new investors to its North American business unit Bonduelle Americas Long Life (BALL) in an effort to secure financing for its future growth plans.

The new investors Fonds de solidarité FTQ and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) will acquire a 65% stake in the business unit for C$850 million ($663 million), according to The Bonduelle Group.

BALL which has six processing plants in Canada and four in the United States processes canned and frozen vegetables and fruits that are sold primarily by private-label brands in North America.

The business markets also products under brands such as Arctic Gardens and Del Monte.

The business had sales of C$943 million ($736 million) in fiscal year 2020-2021, the same period when the Bonduelle Group announced the decision to put it under strategic review.

“The transaction with the Fonds de solidarité FTQ and CDPQ would allow BALL to pursue its development in a North American market that is constantly consolidating and to finance its growth and profitability investments, without any new allocation of capital by the Bonduelle Group,” said Guillaume Debrosse, chief executive officer of the Bonduelle Group.

“As a minority shareholder, Bonduelle will ultimately benefit from 35% of the value created by this business.”

Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a private capital company based in Quebec with approximately C$18.3 billion ($14.3 billion) in assets.

 Its main mission is to contribute to Quebec’s economic growth by creating, maintaining or safeguarding jobs through investment in businesses in all sectors of Quebec’s economy, according to the company.

Dany Pelletier, executive vice-president, investments at the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, said: “The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is proud to build this partnership to accomplish this structuring transaction for the Quebec agri-food sector.

“This transaction will allow the company to continue its North American expansion while maintaining a crucial headquarters here.”

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is an institutional investor with approximately C$420 billon ($328 billion) in assets.

Kim Thomassin, executive vice-president and head of Québec at CDPQ, said: “Alongside our partners, we look forward to pursuing Bonduelle Americas Long Life’s ambitions expansion plan to consolidate its position as a Canadian leader and further develop the US market.”

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