CDPQ Acquires Majority Stake in Japan's Inuyama Solar Project

Earlier today, CDPQ issued a press release stating it has acquired an 80% stake in a solar plant in Japan:

CDPQ, a global investment group, today announced it has acquired an 80% stake in a solar power generation plant in Japan, alongside its portfolio company Shizen Energy Inc. (Shizen Energy).

The Inuyama project, which went into operation in the last few days, has a total solar power generation capacity of 31 MW, enough to power the equivalent of 7,850 homes. The solar power plant is located in Aichi prefecture.

This acquisition marks CDPQ’s first co-investment with Japan’s Shizen Energy as part of a JPY 50 billion (CAD 460 million) co-investment framework announced in October 2022, when CDPQ invested JPY 20 billion (CAD 186 million) in the company to support its growth. Both partners are currently exploring further co investment opportunities within the framework of this agreement.

Emmanuel Jaclot, CDPQ’s Executive Vice-President and Head of Infrastructure, said: “Japan plays a decisive role in the decarbonization of Asia and, as an experienced investor in renewable energy, we are delighted to join forces with our portfolio company Shizen Energy for this first joint investment in a solar plant. This transaction represents a further step in our partnership as we continue to explore more co-investment opportunities in the energy transition space.”

Oliver Senter, Executive Officer of Shizen Energy responsible for Investment & Finance, said: “We are delighted to announce a first co-investment project between CDPQ and Shizen. Inuyama is an ideal project for co-investment given that it was developed, built and will be operated by Shizen Energy throughout its lifetime. We have a pipeline of around 3 GW of renewable energy projects in Japan, which we hope to deliver in the next three to five years.”

About CDPQ

At CDPQ, we invest constructively to generate sustainable returns over the long term. As a global investment group managing funds for public pension 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 June 30, 2023, CDPQ’s net assets totalled CAD 424 billion. For more information, visit, consult our LinkedIn or Instagram pages, or follow us on X.

In October 2022, I covered why CDPQ invested ¥20B in Shizen Energy, its first direct infrastructure investment in Japan.

Now, just to give you an idea of how impressive this young company is, a year after receiving this commitment from CDPQ, it signed a 20-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Microsoft to provide renewable energy from a solar farm in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture. 

This deal represented Microsoft's first PPA in Japan and was a major accomplishment for Shizen Energy.

And now CDPQ is getting in on the action taking an 80% stake in the Inuyama project.

With a partner like Shizen Energy signing 20-year VPPA with Microsoft, it's a no-brainer (those 20-year deals help pay long dated liabilities).

In related news, yesterday CDPQ announced an investment of $125 million to accelerate Levio’s growth:

CDPQ today announced an investment of CAD 125 million to support the acquisition strategy of Levio, a leading consulting firm that leverages its expertise to achieve digital transformations, tailoring new technologies to ever-changing business realities.

Founded in 2014 and now present in five countries, the company specializes in supporting institutional and corporate clients when planning, managing and executing large-scale digital transformation programs.

“CDPQ is proud to partner with Levio to support its expansion plan, which will grow its North American presence and consolidate its position in the market. Digital transformation is central to the sustainability and productivity of organizations, and this partnership is perfectly in line with our investment priorities and supports the company’s growth,” said Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Québec at CDPQ.

“Today marks Levio’s first decade of operations. In addition to contributing significant value creation for our clients, these ten years have been characterized by strong, organic growth, complemented by strategic acquisitions which together, represented a compound annual growth rate of more than 40% over the past five years,” said François Dion, President and Founder of Levio. “With the arrival of CDPQ as a partner, we are looking to increase our rate of expansion to achieve our company acquisition strategy by associating with successful entrepreneurs, primarily in Canada and the U.S. This agreement provides us with significant financial leverage to continue building partnerships with our clients to execute large-scale digital transformations.”

In a context where new technologies enable evolving organization’s business models, Levio shares the risk of project execution with its clients and commits to delivering the expected solutions and benefits.

With a dozen acquisitions under its belt, Levio is a disciplined buyer that has demonstrated its integration capabilities through an approach that aims to develop new skills.

The company is currently entering a new expansion phase, primarily in North America, with a view to increasing its geographic footprint, further strengthening its value-added offering, and developing new business practices.

Levio currently has nearly 2,000 consultants working in 12 offices in Canada, the United States, Morocco, India and France.

As part of this transaction, Desjardins Capital Markets acted as Levio’s exclusive financial advisor.


Levio is a digital native consulting firm providing services covering all aspects of digital transformation, from business strategies to information technologies (IT), to organizational management, including cybersecurity, data valorization, artificial intelligence and cloud computing. Since its creation in 2014, Levio has grown by leaps and bounds, and was listed on America’s Fastest-Growing Companies 2021 for its sustainable growth. Moreover, for a second year in a row, Levio ranks among the top 25 Best Places to Work in Canada according to Glassdoor.

The firm specializes in supporting its institutional and corporate clients when implementing digital transformation programs or mega-projects. For close to 10 years, Levio has built its reputation on an outstanding team of consultants who deliver substantial solutions benefiting from new technologies to help its clients gain efficiency and profitability.

Learn more about Levio at

This part of the press release caught my attention:

In a context where new technologies enable evolving organization’s business models, Levio shares the risk of project execution with its clients and commits to delivering the expected solutions and benefits.

Not many companies do this and with this $125 million commitment by CDPQ, the company will expand its presence primarily in North America, "with a view to increasing its geographic footprint, further strengthening its value-added offering, and developing new business practices."

Lastly, it is worth noting that Charles Emond’s mandate as President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ was renewed last week:

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) today announced that Charles Emond’s mandate has been renewed for a five-year period concluding on February 6, 2029. This appointment by the CDPQ Board of Directors was approved today by the Government of Québec pursuant to the organization’s incorporating act.

“Over the past four years, under Charles Emond’s leadership, CDPQ has delivered solid results in an atypical environment marked by unusual market conditions. In this context, and supported by his team, he introduced key strategic changes to the CDPQ portfolio to generate results that meet depositors’ needs and create value added. At the same time, CDPQ significantly grew its assets in Québec and mobilized its teams around several structuring projects in real estate and infrastructure,” said Jean St-Gelais, Chairman of CDPQ’s Board of Directors. “CDPQ will have to continue to navigate a complex context as it executes its mission in the coming years. As such, and in light of Charles Emond’s remarkable performance in recent years, the Board of Directors has decided to renew his mandate now,” he added.

“We’re facing tremendous challenges. The global environment has been volatile and uncertain since 2020—and that will continue. To achieve our ambitious objectives and keep striving to serve our depositors better in these back-to-back extremes, we must continue to evolve as an organization,” stated Charles Emond, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ. “We’re privileged to work for an institution whose unique signature—constructive capital—is a great calling card that opens doors to the best partners and best opportunities around the world. CDPQ is also the pension fund most present in its local economy globally. I would like to thank the Board for their trust and I’m extremely proud to start this new chapter with the Executive Committee and all our teams.”

Mr. Emond’s second mandate is effective today.

Now, I would have been shocked if Charles Emond's mandate wasn't renewed over the next five years because he's doing a great job at the helm of this organization and it's not an easy job (probably one of the most stressful jobs among Maple Eight CEOs because CDPQ has a dual mandate and is always under the microscope).

There's a political dimension to the job and that part always worries me but thankfully Mr. Legault took the Board's advice and renewed Charles' mandate (you never know with these politicians).

Some more food for thought for my pension readers.

If CDPQ's Board wasn't satisfied with Charles, they wouldn't have renewed his contract for another five years and the same goes for all CEOs at these large Canadian pension funds. 

They are never fired openly; rather their contract isn't renewed for whatever reason and they depart the organization.

That's the way it works at these large shops (but some CEOs who experienced this are obviously more sensitive than others).

Alright, let me wrap it up there.

Below, Shinzen Energy's purpose is to "take action for the blue planet". They therefore provide every service to accelerate and co-create a 100% renewable-powered planet.