CDPQ acquires minority stake in Plusgrade from TA Associates

CPE Media News (11/28/2018) – Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) has made a $200 million investment in Plusgrade, acquiring a minority stake from TA Associates which will remain as the majority shareholder. The transaction values Plusgrade at over $600 million.

TA Associates acquired Plusgrade in July 2015 from founder Ken Harris who remains as a minority shareholder and continues to lead the company as CEO.

With offices in offices in New York and Singapore, Montreal based Plusgrade is a leading provider of revenue solutions to the global travel industry.

Plusgrade customers include over 70 travel companies worldwide, among them are major airlines including Air Canada, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

photo credit: b1-foto via pixabay

News Release

La Caisse invests CA$200 million in Québec technology company Plusgrade

QUÉBEC
MONTRÉAL, NOVEMBER 28, 2018

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec announced that it is taking an equity interest totalling $200 million in Plusgrade, a leading provider of revenue solutions to the global travel industry. The transaction values Plusgrade at over CA$600 million.

With this backing, the company will continue to execute its expansion plan, which includes penetrating new international markets and expanding its suite of products. Since its founding in Montréal in 2009, Plusgrade has become one of the fastest growing technology companies, and was ranked in Deloitte’s Canadian Technology Fast 50 list in 2016 and 2017. Recently, it also received the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Leadership award, which recognizes the innovation and leadership of companies at the forefront of the Canadian technology sector.

Led by a solid management team, Plusgrade is rapidly expanding its team across its Montréal headquarters and its New York and Singapore offices.

Over 70 travel companies worldwide, including Air Canada, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, trust Plusgrade to deliver key revenue streams via software solutions for optimizing their seat inventory. Its signature product provides travellers with an opportunity to bid on upgrades to a superior class of service.

“Plusgrade has a unique and innovative business model that is revolutionizing practices in its industry. Meeting an airline industry need, their products have been quickly marketed around the world in the last few years,” stated Mathieu Gauvin, Senior Vice-President, Québec, at la Caisse. “This investment is aligned with our strategy of supporting the growth of Québec companies that prioritize innovation to drive their international development.”

In the context of this transaction, la Caisse acquired a portion of the shares held by TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm that will continue to be a major shareholder, alongside the management team and other investors.

“We are very excited to welcome la Caisse as our new institutional investment partner as we accelerate our growth into new markets and verticals,” said Ken Harris, Founder and CEO, Plusgrade. “The confidence that la Caisse and TA Associates have shown in Plusgrade is a testament to the value that our talented team is delivering across our global footprint of travel suppliers. We look forward to la Caisse joining our Board and providing valuable guidance as we pursue our strategic growth initiatives.”

Morgan Stanley Canada Limited served as financial advisor and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP served as legal counsel to Plusgrade. Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP served as legal counsel to la Caisse.

ABOUT PLUSGRADE
Plusgrade is an award-winning technology company at the forefront of ancillary revenue and merchandising in the global travel industry. As the market-leading provider in its category of upsell solutions, Plusgrade is generating billions of dollars of new revenue opportunity and powering leading travel suppliers in more than 50 countries. Plusgrade is headquartered in Montréal with offices in New York and Singapore. For more information, please visit www.plusgrade.com.

ABOUT CAISSE DE DÉPÔT ET PLACEMENT DU QUÉBEC
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2018, it held CAD308.3 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

ABOUT TA ASSOCIATES
Now in its 50th year, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced global growth private equity firms. Focused on five target industries – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services – TA invests in profitable, growing companies with opportunities for sustained growth, and has invested in nearly 500 companies around the world. Investing as either a majority or minority investor, TA employs a long-term approach, utilizing its strategic resources to help management teams build lasting value in growth companies. TA has raised $24 billion in capital since its founding in 1968 and is committing to new investments at the pace of $1.5 to $2 billion per year. The firm’s more than 85 investment professionals are based in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.

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