Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec head Michael Sabia doesn't have much time for the debate over why the pension fund manager should keep investing in Quebec -- but he's got plenty of time for Quebec companies seeking money.
The Caisse keeps rolling out investments in the province, this time joining with mid-market private equity firm Wynnchurch Capital to take a stake in a mine-building contractor.
The target, Groupe Moreau, is based in northern Quebec but has done work in Africa and more recently, the oil sands. The plan is to use the new financial partners' money and expertise to help Moreau expand even further. Groupe Moreau has already grown to 900 staff, with about a third of that out of Quebec.
"Business is going well, but with these new financial partners, we will be able to step up our growth and even explore new markets elsewhere in Canada and the world," Jean-Yves Moreau, chairman of Groupe Moreau.
The Caisse has been stepping up the pace of investments in Quebec companies, from big (a huge stake in CGI Group, a big chunk of Laurentian Bank) to relatively small. Mr. Sabia's belief is the pension fund can gain an edge by picking companies locally that it knows well -- but there's also the money manager's so-called "dual mandate" to drive Quebec economic growth while generating returns. (He filled in the Globe and Mail's Tara Perkins on where he stands on this "Jesuitical debate" about whether returns or growth are more important recently. You can read that here.
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