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Michael Sabia, CEO of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.Mario Beauregard

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec's $1-billion investment in IT services giant CGI Group Inc. is the latest – and certainly the most high-profile – follow-through in the pension fund's promise to commit more resources to homegrown companies.

The Caisse had come under fire from critics who said the fund was slacking off on the part of its dual mandate that requires it to help promote the province's economic development.

Since taking over three years ago, Caisse chief executive officer Michael Sabia has made a point of underscoring the fund's commitment to helping Quebec-based companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, expand internationally.

The hefty private equity investment in Montreal-based CGI, which will help CGI in its $2.8-billion takeover of European information technology firm Logica PLC, is one of the biggest the Caisse has made in a Quebec company in recent years.

"The investment is fully aligned with our strategy, which aims to encourage the growth of Quebec companies abroad while generating attractive long-term returns for our depositors," Mr. Sabia said in a statement Thursday.

The Caisse's investment in CGI is through 46.7 million subscription receipts from CGI.

Each receipt represents the right to receive a class A subordinate voting share of CGI's share capital, at a unit price of $21.41.

Prior to the investment, the Caisse held 21.4 million subordinate shares of CGI. The transaction will boost the fund's subordinate share stake to 22 per cent from 9.5 per cent on a fully diluted basis.