The Caisse buys Cascades’ shares in hydropower plant operator Boralex

Cascades Inc. has agreed to sell all its shares in hydroelectric power and renewables developer Boralex Inc. to the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec for US$231.12 million.

At one point, Cascades — a Canadian paper goods manufacturer — held a majority share in Boralex, but saw its stake fall to just 17.3% at the time of the sale.

The decision to sell came after several months, the company said, during which time it “made the strategic decision to monetize its investment and selected the Caisse to complete this major transaction.”

Cascades will use the funds to reduce its debt and support other core initiatives.

“Today, we are turning another page in our company’s history with this strategic decision,” Cascades President and CEO Mario Plourde said. “We believe that in the current context, this transaction is in the best interest of Cascades and its shareholders, and that the Caisse will be an ideal partner to accompany and support Boralex in its future growth and development initiatives.”

The Caisse is a Montreal-based fund manager, with more than $217 billion invested into a diverse, global portfolio that also includes the 106.7-MW Upper Lillooet and 40.6-MW Big Silver Creek.

“This state in Boralex is an opportunity for us to invest in both a promising sector and high-quality assets, many of which are in Quebec,” said Macky Tall, executive vice-president of infrastructure at the Casse.

Boralex operates a portfolio of 16 hydropower projects, primarily located along the eastern Canada/U.S. border. Combined, the facilities have an output capacity of about 160 MW. The company also operates a fleet of wind, thermal and solar plants.

“To have la Caisse come in as principal shareholder reflects the trust it puts in the business model and know-how of Boralex,” Boralex President and CEO Patrick Lemaire said. “We intend to work with la Caisse to develop growth opportunities through its financial capabilities, expertise and international network.”

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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