Quebec still relies on a fund set up by a close friend of the Desmarais

The Quebec government’s investment arm is investing $35 million in a fund just launched by a former Power Corporation executive, sources have said The newspaper.

“It’s 100% independent,” assured Pierre Larochelle at the time The newspaper asked him if his new $250 million fund, Idealist Capital, was related to Power Corporation.


Idealist Capital was founded earlier this year by Pierre Larochelle (photo), who served on the senior management of two Power Corporation subsidiaries, and Steeve Robitaille, former vice president of Bombardier and WSP.

Photo from the Power Corporation website

Idealist Capital was founded earlier this year by Pierre Larochelle (photo), who served on the senior management of two Power Corporation subsidiaries, and Steeve Robitaille, former vice president of Bombardier and WSP.

“I didn’t meet [le ministre de l’Économie] Pierre Fitzgibbon for it. I once saw him in company,” explained Pierre Larochelle.

As an officer of Power Energy and Power Sustainable, two subsidiaries of Power Corporation, Mr. Larochelle said he has worked on projects related to climate change, renewable energy and transportation electrification.

Today, Mr. Larochelle, who chairs the boards of Lion Electric and LMPG (Lumenpulse), leads this new fund alongside Steeve Robitaille, a former partner at the law firm Stikeman Elliott and former vice presidents of Bombardier and WSP.

There is no question of using the money to fund Lion or LMPG, Mr Larochelle assured. Rather, it is about stimulating other companies to grow.

rain of millions

at protocolThe latter declined to say how much Investissement Québec (IQ) invested in Idealist, but IQ confirmed after injecting $35 million of its own funds.

This isn’t the first time IQ has invested in a fund related to the Desmarais family, which controls Power Corporation shareholders.

In recent years, IQ and the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec have invested more than $128 million in funds managed by Power. Last fall, IQ notably bet $35 million on a fund owned by Sagard, a subsidiary of the Montreal conglomerate.

Yesterday, The newspaper Power Corporation asked if he was an investor in the new funds, but our request went unheeded.

members of the same councils

Note that IQ’s great boss, Guy LeBlanc, has previously sat on the board of Lion Electric. For his part, Mr. Fitzgibbon was already a member of Lumenpulse. Finally, the minister’s former agent, Michel Ringuet, currently sits on the boards of both companies.

IQ owns 0.8% of Lion Electric shares. Additionally, the Commerce Department made a $50 million “forgivable loan” to the company in 2021.

Also in the past year The newspaper wrote that Investissement Québec was willing to write Power Corporation a $90 million check to buy out a portion of its interest in LMPG. However, the transaction was abandoned with the company’s decision to cancel its plan to return to the stock market.

Power is the majority shareholder of LMPG.

idealistic capital

  • Foundation, endowment : 2022
  • First Degree: $250 million
  • Founding partners: Pierre Larochelle and Steeve Robitaille
  • Investors: Desjardins Group, Investissement Québec, Fondaction, TD Bank Group and National Bank of Canada
  • Advisory Board: Marc Bédard (Lion Electric), Kim Tokarsky (Taiga Motors), Karim Zaghib (Formerly Hydro-Québec and Investissement Québec)
  • Expected return over 10 years: 20% per year

Source: Idealistic Capital and Pierre Larochelle

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