Venture Capital Firm Acquires Regal Confections

Canadian company's clientele consists of big-box stores, food retailers, pharmacies, c-stores

MONTREAL -- Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins has acquired shares of Regal Confections Inc. and Wawi Chocolate Inc. Following this transaction and reinvestment by the four current shareholders, the company is the majority shareholder of Regal Confections Inc. and Jean-Talon Chocolate Inc. (formerly Wawi Chocolate Inc.).

Laval, Quebec-based Regal Confections is a leader in distribution, packaging and manufacturing of quality chocolate and nonchocolate confectionary products. Regal operates three distribution centers across Canada--in St-John's, Newfoundland, Montreal and Toronto.

It distributes such brands as Tootsie Rolls, Dubble Bubble, Comet, McCormicks, Moritz Icy Squares, Pez, Rockets, Topps, Jean-Talon chocolates, Zero Bars, Too tarts, Cookie Dough Bites and a special gift baskets division under the brand Sweet Expressions.

Regal also markets a variety of products under special licensing agreements with Disney, Marvel, Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Fox, Sanrio, Classic Media and Warner Brothers, which own licenses such as Princess, Cars, Fairies, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Spider-Man; Shrek; Sponge Bob, Dora and Diego; Simpsons; Hello Kitty; Frosty the Snowman; and the Justice League, respectively.

Its clientele consists of big-box stores, food retailers, wholesalers, pharmacies and convenience stores.

Jean-Talon Chocolate Inc. specializes in manufacturing and distributing chocolate confectionary products for Christmas and Easter. Most of its production is sold through Regal Confections.

Joseph Neufeld, owner-manager of Regal Confections, remains a shareholder of the company and will be responsible for day-to-day operations in his capacity as president.

"We have received numerous purchase offers in recent years," he said, "but Desjardins showed exceptional commitment towards ensuring that the company remains in Quebec and continues to grow. We're very proud to be associated with this prestigious financial institution."

According to Marie-Claude Boisvert, COO of Desjardins Venture Capital, the manager of Capital regional et cooperatif Desjardins, this acquisition is perfectly aligned with the company's mission of ensuring continuity and growth of local companies. "We're very pleased to partner with a flagship Quebec company that plays a prominent role in its industry. This transaction proves the merit of our actions aimed at maintaining ownership and jobs in Quebec."