The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has chosen Serge Godin, co-founder of CGI, to represent it on the board of directors of the French giant Alstom, of which it will soon become the largest shareholder.
Mr. Godin's candidacy was submitted to Alstom's extraordinary meeting convened on October 29 in relation to the upcoming acquisition of Bombardier Transportation for US $ 8.4 billion.
The 71-year-old entrepreneur has no specific experience in the rail industry, but CGI has a significant presence in Europe, Alstom's largest market. The latter has already granted mandates to CGI.
“The choice of Serge Godin was quite natural since he is one of the greatest entrepreneurs in Quebec,” said a spokesperson for the Caisse de dépôt, Serge Vallières.
La Caisse is also proposing the candidacy of one of its first vice-presidents, Kim Thomassin, as director of Alstom.
“Ms. Thomassin sat on the board of Bombardier Transport and is familiar with the sustainable mobility sector, so it is a natural transition for her,” said Mr. Vallières.
In the wake of the sale of Bombardier Transport to Alstom, the Caisse de dépôt will convert its 34.7% stake in the Quebec rolling stock manufacturer into shares of the French multinational, in addition to investing new capital in the company. .
The Caisse will eventually hold an 18% stake in Alstom, which gives it the right to appoint two members and one observer to its board.
This is not the first time that the Caisse has called on a well-known personality to represent it within a company in its portfolio.
In 2018, she had Denis Coderre, former mayor of Montreal, appointed to the board of rail operator Eurostar.
Note that the Caisse is a major shareholder of CGI. As of June 30, it held a 12.1% stake in the Montreal-based IT services multinational.
Since last year, however, the Caisse has reduced its interest in CGI. The company bought him back for $ 1.1 billion in shares.