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Transactions and Cases

Desjardins Group to invest in Qtrade Financial Group 

Torys LLP represented Qtrade with a team that included Kevin Morris, Eric Foster, Leah Towell, Rory McGillis, Dawn Scott (corporate/securities), Dany Assaf (competition) and Andrew Wong (tax).

On February 5, 2013 Desjardins Group (Desjardins) and Qtrade Financial Group (Qtrade) announced that Qtrade and Desjardins Financial Corporation Inc., a subsidiary of Desjardins, entered into a definitive agreement whereby Desjardins will initially purchase between 25% and 40% of the outstanding shares of Qtrade from current security holders (on a fully-diluted basis) by way of a statutory plan of arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act.

Desjardins is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada with assets of nearly C$200 billion and Qtrade oversees approximately C$7.5 billion of client assets. Qtrade is not only rated as a top online brokerage platform in the industry, but also provides wealth management services to the retail public and the customers of over 180 financial institutions, notably credit unions across Canada.

The transaction is part of Desjardins' strategic plan to grow its major business lines. Upon the arrangement becoming effective Qtrade will continue to operate independently with current leadership and under its own brand name.

The required approvals have been received from the boards of both organizations for this transaction. Qtrade's board of directors has recommended that Qtrade shareholders approve the arrangement and support has been received from a number of shareholders representing over three quarters of Qtrade shares outstanding. A proxy circular will be mailed to all Qtrade shareholders in the coming weeks providing details about the arrangement which is expected to close during the second quarter of 2013, and remains subject to customary closing conditions including court, shareholder and regulatory approvals.  Desjardins will have the right to acquire the majority of the remaining Qtrade shares over the next six years.

Qtrade provides comprehensive brokerage and wealth management platforms, services and solutions to the retail public as well as the customers of hundreds of financial institutions across Canada.

Desjardins is Canada’s largest cooperative financial group, with assets of nearly $200 billion. They offer a full complement of financial products and services to its nearly 6 million members and clients.

Further information can be found on Marketwire’s website.