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TorQuest Partners and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Announce Investment in Barrette Outdoor Living – Canada NewsWire

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QUÉBEC and Ontario and MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio, Nov. 3, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ – TorQuest Partners (“TorQuest”) and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”) today announced a majority investment in Barrette Outdoor Living Inc. (“BOL” or the “Company”), North America’s leading manufacturer of wood-alternative fence and railing products. TorQuest and CDPQ are partnering in this transaction with BOL’s owner, Les Entreprises Barrette Ltée, who will retain a significant minority interest in the Company, and BOL’s management team, led by CEO Jean desAutels. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

BOL manufactures and sells vinyl, aluminum and steel fence and railing; composite decking; and other outdoor products sold through specialty retailers, home centers and lumberyards. The Company’s scale, vertically-integrated operations, and broad portfolio of fence, railing and decking systems have driven a consistent history of distribution channel penetration and market share gains in its core outdoor living repair and remodeling market. BOL has also grown through acquisitions, which have expanded the Company’s geographic reach and built its product portfolio into the most comprehensive in the industry.

Jonathan Fraser, Partner at TorQuest, said: “This investment continues our well-established strategy of building relationships with successful Canadian entrepreneurs to support ownership transitions. BOL has experienced exceptional growth over the past decade due to its unparalleled operational capabilities and its industry-leading customer service levels. We believe the business is well-positioned to capitalize on the attractive industry dynamics in the North American outdoor living sector and we look forward to partnering with the BOL team to drive the business through its next phase of growth.” This is the tenth Fund IV platform investment for TorQuest, which recently closed its fifth fund, TorQuest Partners Fund V, with $1.375 billion of committed capital.

Kim Thomassin, CDPQ’s Executive Vice-President and Head of Investments in Québec and Stewardship Investing, added: ” With this transaction, CDPQ is delighted to support Les Enterprises Barrette, a successful Québec company, with its evolution and development plan. Thanks to its ambitious growth strategy and numerous transformative acquisitions, BOL is now a North American leader in a fast-growing industry. CDPQ’s investment and support will help accelerate the company’s expansion in the coming years, securing its position as a leader.”

CEO Jean desAutels, said, “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the BOL team and believe it is the right time, and TorQuest and CDPQ are the right partners, to help build the business from here. BOL has a great foundation and is ready for its next stage of growth.”

Moelis & Company LLC and PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance Inc. served as financial advisors to BOL on the transaction.

About Barrette Outdoor Living Inc.

Barrette Outdoor Living is the leading North American supplier of exterior home products to the residential market. Barrette Outdoor Living produces vinyl, aluminum and steel fence and railing; composite decking; and other outdoor products sold through specialty retailers, home centers and lumberyards. Barrette Outdoor Living employs more than 2,000 people at 10 locations throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.barretteoutdoorliving.com.

About TorQuest Partners

Founded in 2002, TorQuest Partners is a Canadian-based manager of private equity funds. With more than CA$3 billion of equity capital under management, TorQuest is currently investing from TorQuest Partners Fund IV, a CA$925 million fund that closed in June 2016.  In March 2020, TorQuest announced the closing of TorQuest Partners Fund V at CA$1.375 billion. TorQuest invests in middle market companies, and works in close partnership with management to build value. To learn more about TorQuest Partners, please visit www.torquest.com.

About Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and para-public pension and insurance plans. As at June 30, 2020, it held CA$333.0 billion in net assets. As one of Canada’s leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. For more information, visit www.cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter @LaCDPQ or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

SOURCE Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

For further information: For media inquiries: Sandy Blackwood, Longview Communications Inc., (416) 649-8005, Serge Vallières, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, (514) 847-5493, [email protected]

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Dogecoin dropped after Elon Musk calls it a ‘hustle’ on ‘SNL’ show

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By Alden Bentley and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The value of dogecoin dropped sharply in early U.S. hours on Sunday, after Tesla chief and cryptocurrency supporter Elon Musk called it a ‘hustle’ during his guest-host spot on the “Saturday Night Live” comedy sketch TV show.

Dogecoin was quoted as low as $0.47 on crypto exchange Binance, down 28% from levels around $0.65 before the show.

The billionaire Tesla Inc chief executive hosted the show at 11:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday (0330 GMT on Sunday).

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts had for days been eager to see what he would say, after his tweets this year turned the once-obscure digital currency into a speculator’s dream.

Asked ‘what is dogecoin’, Musk replied, “It’s the future of currency. It’s an unstoppable financial vehicle that’s going to take over the world.”

When a show cast member Michael Che countered, “So, it’s a hustle?”, Musk replied, “Yeah, it’s a hustle.” And laughed.

Musk is the rare business mogul to have been asked to host the venerable comedy TV show. The timing puts Musk back in the spotlight just as Tesla’s stock is losing steam following last year’s monster rally.

The unconventional CEO has posted numerous comments about cryptocurrencies on Twitter and criticized regular old cash for having negative real interest rates.

“Only a fool wouldn’t look elsewhere,” he said in February.

His cryptic tweets “Doge” and “Dogecoin is the people’s crypto” that month kicked off a rally in dogecoin – created as a parody on the more mainstream bitcoin and ethereum.

On Thursday, Musk tweeted: “Cryptocurrency is promising, but please invest with caution!” with a video clip attached in which he said, “it should be considered speculation at this point. And so, you know, don’t don’t go too far in the crypto speculation …”

But he also said, in the video, that cryptocurrency has a “good chance” of becoming what he called “the future currency of the Earth.”

On crypto data tracker CoinGecko.com, dogecoin has jumped more than 800% over the last month and is now the fourth-largest digital currency, with a market capitalization of $73 billion. It hit a record high Thursday above $0.73.

It has overtaken more widely used cryptocurrencies such as litecoin and tether.

Tesla said in February it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and would soon accept it as a form of payment for its electric cars, a large stride toward mainstream acceptance that sent bitcoin soaring to a record high of nearly $62,000.

Tesla shares closed 1.3% higher at $672.37 on Friday.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Alden Bentley in New York, and Noel Randewich and Hyunjoo Jin in San Francisco Additional reporting by Joe White and Vidya RanganathanEditing by Matthew Lewis & Simon Cameron-Moore)

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Wealthsimple hits $4 billion valuation on funding from Ryan Reynolds, Drake

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Wealthsimple

(Reuters) -Wealthsimple said on Monday it has raised C$750 million ($610.40 million) in its latest funding round, which more than doubled the Canadian fintech company‘s valuation to C$5 billion.

The latest funding round included participation from celebrities Drake, Michael Fox and Ryan Reynolds, according to the company.

The Toronto-based company that has helped make stock trading, peer-to-peer money transfers and tax filing easily accessible, said it will use the amount raised to further expand its market position, product suite and team.

The latest funding round, led by venture capital firms Meritech and Greylock, also includes investments from iNovia, Sagard, TSV and Redpoint.

The funding consists of C$250 million primary fundraising by Wealthsimple and a C$500 million secondary offering by holding company Power Corp of Canada, its largest shareholder.

Wealthsimple said it has seen rapid growth in the past 14 months as Canadians took an interest in stock trading during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, the company said it plans to grow revenue by adding premium features for its clients.

($1 = 1.2288 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Shounak Dasgupta)

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Ethereum breaks past $3,000 to quadruple in value in 2021

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) –Cryptocurrency ether broke past $3,000 on Monday to set a new record high in a dazzling rally that has outshone the bigger bitcoin, as investors bet that ether will be of ever greater use in a decentralised future financial system.

Ether, the token transacted on the ethereum blockchain, rose 3% on the Bitstamp exchange to $3,051.99 by lunchtime in Asia. It is up more than 300% for the year so far, easily outpacing a 95% rise in the more popular bitcoin.

In part, the big rally is a catch-up to late 2020 gains in bitcoin, said James Quinn, managing director at Q9 Capital, a Hong Kong cryptocurrency private wealth manager.

It also reflects improvements to the ethereum blockchain, he said, and a growing shift towards “DeFi”, or decentralised finance, which refers to transactions outside traditional banking for which the ethereum blockchain is a crucial platform.

“At first, the rally was really led by bitcoin because as a lot of the institutional investors came into the space, that would be their natural first port of call,” Quinn said.

“But as the rally has matured over the last six months, you have DeFi and a lot of DeFi is built on ethereum.”

The launch of ether exchange-traded funds in Canada and surging demand for ether wallets to transact non-fungible tokens such as digital art have also pushed up the price.

The ether/bitcoin cross rate has soared more than 100% this year and hit a 2.5-year high on Sunday, pointing to a degree of rotation into the second-biggest cryptocurrency as investors diversify their exposure.

“Surging DeFi volumes continue to push ethereum prices higher as investors gain confidence in crypto and see ethereum as a safe second-place asset,” said Jehan Chu, managing partner at Hong Kong blockchain venture capital firm Kenetic Capital.

Illustrating the momentum for such new transactions, Bloomberg reported last week that the European Investment Bank plans on issuing a digital bond over the Ethereum blockchain, while JP Morgan plans a managed bitcoin fund.

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest crypto asset with more than $1 trillion in market capitalisation, regained the $50,000 mark last week and hovered around $58,000 on Monday, up about 3% but well below its record high at $64,895.22.

The U.S. dollar was broadly steady. [FRX/]

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by Himani Sarkar & Shri Navaratnam)

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