CIC Capital Canada announces US $500M evergreen growth fund

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By Ted Liu

CIC Capital Canada Inc., the Canadian subsidiary of CM-CIC Investissement, the private equity arm of Groupe Crédit Mutuel (CM11 – CIC), has launched a new US $500 million North American Growth Fund, with US $150 million dedicated to Canada, mainly for investment in Quebec and Ontario companies.

Established in Montreal since 2010, CIC Capital Canada has managed the $100 million Emerillon Capital venture capital fund, a partnership with Desjardins, since 2013. This fund holds equity positions in a dozen promising Quebec and Ontario technology businesses and was an investor in Maluuba, an artificial intelligence company acquired by Microsoft in 2017.

CIC Capital Canada plans to open a Toronto office and to progressively grow its footprint south of the border with offices in Boston and New York.

In Canada, the new North American Growth Fund targets mainly CDN $5-20 million deals in growth equity and buyout investments generally in companies with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in the CDN $3-15 million range. Preferred sectors include food and beverage, healthcare, information and communications technologies, specialty manufacturing, business services and aerospace. CIC Capital Canada usually invests as a co-investor and always as a minority shareholder, leaving entrepreneurs and business leaders with broad autonomy to pursue their vision and strategy.

CIC Capital Canada invests its own capital, providing a source of evergreen capital (up to ten years), making it possible to match the investment period with industrial time, and avoid pressure on portfolio companies typically associated with investment liquidity considerations. This confers broad flexibility to tailor the amount, duration and use of investment capital to match the real needs of entrepreneurs, while having the ability to reinvest as required.

“The launch of this new fund is great news for local entrepreneurs, particularly for the leaders of family businesses who seek a solid and stable partner, a source of patient and flexible capital, and an experienced team to support them for the long term,” stated Ludovic André, President of CIC Capital in Canada and Managing Director of Emerillon Capital.

CIC Capital Canada is positioned to guide local businesses to investment, export and international partnership opportunities in Europe through the transatlantic presence of its parent company, CM-CIC Investissement, active in the private equity space for over 30 years, and its network of offices in France, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

CM-CIC Investissement manages EUR2.6 billion of its own funds and is invested in more than 350 businesses, providing the CIC Capital team a privileged access to deep multi-sector knowledge for the benefit of entrepreneurs.

“Since we do not have to return invested capital to limited partners when a traditional investment vehicle reaches term, we have full freedom to reinvest in our portfolio companies,” added Christophe Tournier, member of the CM-CIC Investissement management board. “The evergreen nature of our own capital, combined with our international development, represent key differentiators in the private equity space.”

photo credit: CIC Capital Canada