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GFI Solutions Back in Quebec Hands

(March 09, 2012)

MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 03/09/12 -- French IT consultancy GFI Informatique S.A.'s stake in Groupe GFI Solutions ("GFI Solutions") has been bought out by members of the GFI Solutions management team in partnership with Investissement Quebec, Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins, and Fonds de solidarite FTQ. The partners in the acquisition are proud to have brought the company back under Quebec control.

GFI Informatique agreed to part with its Canadian subsidiary in order to focus on its main market in Europe. The subsidiary specializes in developing, integrating, and providing support for management software as well as providing electronic payment, professional, and technical services for businesses of all sizes. GFI Informatique sold its 62.4% stake for $75 million. Fonds de solidarite FTQ and GFI Solutions management members already held stakes of 31.1% and 6.7% respectively.

Following the transaction, Fonds de solidarite FTQ will hold 38.4% of shares, Investissement Quebec, 27.6%, Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins, 19.7%, and GFI Solutions management members, 14.3%.

The Minister responsible for Seniors and MNA for Saint-Henri-Sainte-Anne, Marguerite Blais, who attended the announcement on behalf of her colleague, Sam Hamad, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, expressed delight that the company was now 100% in Quebec hands. "There is much talk about how important it is to attract corporate headquarters to Quebec and keep them here, so this partnership is a welcome boost to the province's IT industry and will ensure that Quebecers are the ones making the decisions and determining strategies for this company, which has such potential for value-added growth."


"We are proud to play a part in bringing a company of such note back into Quebec hands through our support for a seasoned team of executives," commented Jacques Daoust, president and CEO of Investissement Quebec. "We are helping GFI Solutions consolidate its position in Quebec and continue to grow across North America."

For Marie-Claude Boisvert, COO of Desjardins Venture Capital and vice president of development capital and business ownership transfers at Desjardins Group, the new partnership dovetails perfectly with the mission of Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins. "We look to support businesses that are building for the long term and creating quality jobs in Quebec. Our partnership with GFI Solutions and its management team is a compelling example of this."

"We are pleased to welcome two new Quebec financial partners as we pursue development at one of the province's leading IT solution providers. Fonds de solidarite FTQ is proud to contribute to the growth and success of promising Quebec companies, as was the case when it first invested in GFI Solutions in 2008," said Yvon Bolduc, president and CEO of Fonds de solidarite FTQ.

"We are very satisfied with how the transaction has worked out," commented Gilles Letourneau, president and CEO of GFI Solutions. "It gives us the leeway we need to actively pursue our strategy of growth through acquisitions. Our new shareholders appreciate and share our management's vision of GFI's future on the Canadian and North American markets. We already enjoyed financial backing from Fonds de solidarite FTQ and today we are very proud to welcome Investissement Quebec and Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins to continue our development."

About GFI Solutions

A leader in the Canadian IT industry, GFI Solutions specializes in the design, implementation, integration, and support of business software solutions, in the development of e-business solutions, and in electronic payment, professional, and technical IT services. In business since 1988, GFI Solutions is currently experiencing an active growth phase. Its most recent acquisitions include Tender Retail, activeMedia Developpement, Fortsum Business Solutions (now GFI SMB Solutions), and Bell Business Solutions (now GFI Business Solutions). These acquisitions have enabled the company to conquer promising vertical markets and extend its product and service offering to businesses of all sizes, as well as to municipalities and other public service organizations.

About Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins

Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary, is a publicly traded company managed by Desjardins Venture Capital. With 106,577 shareholders and net assets of $1,220,400 million, the company contributes to Quebec's economic development while driving the growth of cooperatives and the resource regions. Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins directly and indirectly supports close to 300 companies, cooperatives, and funds in various industries spanning all regions in Quebec. (capitalregional.com)

About Investissement Quebec

Investissement Quebec's mission is to foster the growth of investment in Quebec, thereby contributing to economic development and job creation in every region. The Corporation offers businesses a full range of financial solutions, including loans, loan guarantees and equity investments, to support them at all stages of their development. It is also responsible for administering tax measures and prospecting for foreign investment.

About Fonds de solidarite FTQ

Fonds de solidarite FTQ helps drive our economy. With net assets of $8.2 billion as at November 30, 2011, the Fund is a development capital investment fund that channels the savings of Quebecers into investments in all sectors of the economy to help further Quebec's economic growth and create and maintain jobs. The Fund is a partner, either directly or through its network members, in 2,129 companies. With its 583,235 owner-shareholders, it has helped, on its own or with other financial partners, to create, maintain, and protect 160,789 jobs. For more information, visit www.fondsftq.com.

Contacts:
Information:
Caroline Doyon
Simard Hamel Communications
514 287-9811, ext. 25
c.doyon@shc.ca

Source and information :
Marie-Eve Morneau
Press Officer
Office of the Minister Responsible for Seniors
418-646-7757

Patrick McQuilken
Senior Press Relations and Communications Officer
Fonds de solidarite FTQ
514-850-4835

Marie-Eve Savard
Government Relations and Public Affairs Advisor
Investissement Quebec
514-873-7161

Dany Beaudet
Director, Corporate Communications
Groupe GFI Solutions Inc.
418-877-5051 ext. 2272

Nathalie Genest
Spokesperson
Desjardins Group
514-281-7275 or 1-866 866-7000, ext. 7275
media@desjardins.com

Harold Fortin
Press Officer
Office of the Minister of Economic Development,
Innovation and Export Trade and Minister Responsible for
the Capitale-Nationale Region
418-691-5650


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