CDPQ and FTQ Acquire Controlling Stake in Bonduelle Americas Long Life
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) released a statement that Bonduelle has entered into exclusive negotiations with it and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ for the disposal of 65% of Bonduelle Americas Long Life:
We want to inspire the transition toward a plant-based diet, to contribute to people’s well-being and planet health. We are a French family business with 14,700 employees and we have been innovating with our farming partners since 1853. Our products are cultivated on 124,000 acres and marketed in 100 countries, with a revenue of € 2,779 million.
About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ invests in a better society with the savings of its 734,580 shareholders. Through its development and venture capital investments, the Fonds seeks to contribute to the transition towards a greener economy, a people-centred world of work, and a healthier society. It provides companies with unsecured financing and strategic coaching. With net assets of CAD 18.3 billion as of November 30, 2021, the Fonds supported over 3,400 partner companies and over 247,000 jobs.
At Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), we invest constructively to generate sustainable returns over the long term. As a global investment group managing funds for public retirement and insurance plans, we work alongside our partners to build enterprises that drive performance and progress. We are active in the major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. As at December 31, 2021, CDPQ’s net assets totaled CAD 420 billion.
This is a significant transaction for CDPQ and FTQ.
The deal is based on a 100% enterprise value of C$ 850 million (approximately € 625 million), representing a 2020-2021 EBITDA multiple of 8.2x.
This values CDPQ and FTQ's 65% controlling stake of Bonduelle Americas Long Life (BALL) at C$ 552.5 million (not sure if it is split evenly).
More importantly, as stated in the press release, it will allow the company to continue its North American expansion, while maintaining a crucial headquarters here in Quebec.
Recall, both FTQ and CDPQ have a regional development mandate to develop Quebec's economy so this investment fits nicely into that mandate.
You can read more about Bonduelle to get acquainted with this company.
I bring this to your attention on the company's strategy and operations:
For Bonduelle, now is the time for the vegetable revolution, an essential turning point to meet the huge challenges the planet now faces.
Because there will shortly be nine billion women and men to feed, vegetable products are fast becoming a key focus for the well-being of future generations in terms of both quantities to be produced and the way they are produced.
Bonduelle firmly believes that there is a model for our society, one that cares as much for nature as it does for people.
Our mission: We inspire the transition toward a plant-based diet to contribute to people's well-being and planet health.
The vegetable revolution
To feed 9 billion people
To confront today's environmental challenges, we believe that plant-based food is THE solution to feed people and respect nature at the same time. Because right now, plant-based products are unmatched when it comes to preserving our planet's resources: water, the atmosphere, energy...
A positive impact company
We operate in over 100 countries. Our products reach millions of plates. So it is our responsibility to do things well. How? By shaping a positive economy for the planet, for society, for people... We want to become a company that combines economic performance and postive impact.
Long-term is in our DNA
Because only a long-term vision can take on board criteria as important as impact on the environment and the well-being of people. Our French family-owned business has been looking to the future for seven generations, each of which has preserved its values and family governance, by prioritizing the long-term strategy.
The company even publicly states a manifesto on its website:
The history of the world is punctuated by key milestones. Driven by engaged and committed people wishing to build a better future, these transitions change behaviors, reshape relations with the world, and help us move forward.
Bonduelle believes it is time for a plant-based revolution, an inescapable sea change in the face of the immense challenges facing the planet. The fact that there will be 9 billion men and women to feed in tomorrow’s world has made plant-based food a major challenge for the well-being of future generations, in terms of both the quantities to be produced and the ways they are produced.
Nature is our most precious asset, and will not wait. We cannot remain blind to the warning signs, we must react. Climate change, soil depletion and biodiversity loss threaten to undermine the balance of nature and in turn that of humanity.
As a family-run company with a long-term vision, and responsible for feeding millions of consumers across the planet, we aim to be a committed player. The controlling Shareholders and employees of the Bonduelle Group are today committed to building a better future thanks to plant-based food.
At Bonduelle, we believe that we must lead the way, offer innovative and pertinent solutions to feed people better while respecting the planet and thereby ensuring the well-being of future generations.
Since 1853, we have been working with our partners on all fronts to develop modern plant-based production that respects water, air, soil and subsoils. This is why we resolutely defend efficient, ecological, intelligent and supportive agro-industrial business, focused on healthy, safe, sustainable and accessible food.
You should also read about the company's history to really appreciate how it has evolved and grown over the years through seven generations.
Now, I bring all this to your attention to show you the company's commitment to sustainable growth and how it takes its role very seriously in contributing to a better, more sustainable world.
I also point out that apart from keeping Bonduelle Americas Long Life (BALL) headquartered in Quebec, this acquisition also fits nicely into both FTQ and CDPQ's ambitions to achieving net-zero in their respective portfolios as soon as possible.
Next, I note this on Bonduelle Americas site on its Canadian operations:
In 2007, the Bonduelle Group acquired Aliments Carrière, along with its 3 canned vegetable production units and 4 frozen vegetables production units. In 2009, Bonduelle strengthened its commercial assets in Canada by acquiring Family Tradition and Omstead Food. In doing so, Bonduelle became the leader in Canada in terms of frozen and canned food, both in the retail and the food service markets, while achieving 50% of its revenue thanks to sales made in the United States.
The key point is Bonduelle Americas Long Life (BALL) is a very profitable operation and the company will retain a significant minority stake (35%).
Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Québec at CDPQ states this:
“CDPQ is especially proud to become a shareholder of one of the principal players in the North American food industry whose headquarters will be based here, in Brossard. 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 U.S. market.”
Along with FTQ and Bonduelle, they have plans to consolidate the company's position as a Canadian leader and further develop the US market.
I personally think the time is ripe to strategically grow BALL's US operations and I see this acquisition as a great long-term investment for both CDPQ and FTQ.
Below, for Bonduelle Group, creating a better future through plant-based food means being an agro-industrial player with a positive impact on its ecosystem. "We are a French family-owned company with 11,000 employees and we have been innovating with our farmers partners since 1853. Our ready-to-use plant-based food products are grown on 128,000 hectares and marketed in 100 countries. Our 6 strong brands are: Bonduelle, Cassegrain, Globus, Del Monte, Ready Pac Foods, Arctic Gardens."
Also, learn about the company's mission is to inspire the transition toward a plant-based diet to contribute to people's well-being and planet health.
Great company which produces delicious products (I personally love Arctic Gardens) and has a mission to feed the world in a very sustainable way.
This why FTQ and CDPQ did the right move in acquiring BALL, helping it to grow its US operations all while maintaining its leadership in Canada.