The acquisition was possible due to the support received from Capital croissance PME (CCPME), an investment fund that is now co-owner of the creamery. CCPME is capitalised in equal parts by Desjardins Capital régional et coopératif and La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
“It’s a key step for Nutrinor,” said Yves Girard, general manager of the co-op. “We firmly believe that Fromagerie Champêtre has a strong potential for growth that will help propel us beyond our primary market.
“We know that in order for us to grow, stepping up sales outside the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region is critical. Fromagerie Champêtre offers an exceptional line of products that stand out for their quality and authenticity. Such a level of care is squarely in line with our vision of growth—and that’s what clinched it for us.”
Desjardins Capital régional et co-operative was set up in 2001 as a public company at Desardins Group’s initiative to raise venture capital through calls for public savings and invest these funds into co-ops for the economic development of the Quebec region. The investment fund is managed by Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif, a subsidiary of the Desjardins Group.
With the acquisition, Nutrinor plans to expand its presence in the domestic fine cheeses market. Fromagerie Champêtre, on the eastern outskirts of the city, produces renowned cheeses such as Presqu’île, Tomme du Fleuve, Raclette Champêtre, and Le Bocké, which is a two-time winner of the prestigious Sélection Caseus cheese competition.
“This acquisition of Fromagerie Champêtre will ensure that this iconic Lanaudière producer remains a Quebec-owned brand,” said Luc Ménard, chief operating officer of Desjardins Capital régional et coopératif.
“The transaction announced today will also allow for the continued growth of a Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean co-op. It’s the second time since 2015 that we’ve supported a project by Nutrinor. It just goes to show how important we think co-operatives and the agrifood sector are in supporting regional development.”