August 19, 1999
Press release "For immediate release"
SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE DE FINANCEMENT (SGF) DU QUÉBEC invests in U|Force Inc.
300 Skilled Jobs to be Created Within Three Years
(Montreal, August 19, 1999) - Claude Blanchet, President and CEO of the Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) today announced along with Bernard Landry, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Economy and Finance, a $7.6 million equity investment in U|Force Inc. This investment, combined with an additional bank loan, will provide a more than $10 million total injection that will enable U|Force to continue the development and the commercialization of specialized applications for the internet protocol (IP) and e-business sectors. U|Force plans to create 300 jobs in Quebec within the next three years.
U|Force also announced a new working relationship with Sun Microsystems Canada Inc. as a SunTM Authorized JavaTM Center service location. Both companies will jointly participate in marketing activities to promote U|Force's products and services. Headquartered in Montreal, U|Force is the first company to provide a total JavaTM application platform for the computer telephony integration (CTI) market and unified messaging for telecommunications service providers.
"Our mandate is to partner with companies offering a technological edge and that bring an added value to Quebec," says Claude Blanchet, President and CEO of the Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF). "Therefore, we assessed the business plan, track record and management expertise of U|Force in accordance with our criteria for profitability. We are confident that this partnership will generate our expected return on investment. The collaborative relationship with Sun Microsystems demonstrates U|Force's capabilities in the extremely promising CTI and IP telephony sectors."
"This investment is the catalyst for a Quebec enterprise to quickly move into an information technology sector that is only beginning to emerge and offers excellent short-term global opportunities," says Bernard Landry, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for the Economy and Finance. "SGF's involvement will not only advance Quebec expertise in the area of computer telephony integration, but it also creates 300 skilled jobs over three years and the resulting economic benefits."
"The SGF investment will accelerate the development and the commercialization of the first complete Java technology-based application platform for the internet protocol (IP) telephony and the converging telecom and information technology markets," says Jean-Luc Calonne, U|Force's president.
"Sun Microsystems Canada is pleased to recognize U|Force as an Authorized Java Center service location," noted Jean-Paul Cava, Regional Sales Manager, Quebec Region, Sun Microsystems of Canada Inc. "U|Force is well positioned in the market to help customers benefit from the power of Java technology and gain a competitive advantage in today's global economy. As an Authorized Java Center location, customers can turn to U|Force for end-to-end Java technology solutions, value added applications, and services."
Industry analysts suggest that e-business has the potential to generate in excess of $3.2 trillion globally by 2003, representing almost five per cent of the global sales revenue for that year, and 80 percent of all call centres worldwide are expected to integrate telephone services and Web sites in reaction. Calonne notes that U|Force is in an excellent position to become the dominant player in the new market niche created with the fast convergence of telephony, intranet and internet-based solutions.
The mission of SGF is to carry out economic development projects in co-operation with partners and in accordance with accepted requirements of profitability, in particular in the industrial sector. Since 1985, the SGF has produced investments of approximately $6.7 billion, enabling the creation of 22,000 jobs, directly and indirectly. As of December 31, 1998, the consolidated assets of the SGF totalled $1.8 billion. Furthermore, the consolidated assets of all companies in which the SGF holds a share represents about $10 billion. The SGF is associated with 30 international partners conducting business operations in Quebec.
Visit www.uforce.com for more information about U|Force and its products and services.
For more information:
Communications Director Société générale de financement du Québec (SGF) (514) 876-9290
Cabinet du Vice-premier ministre
(418) 643-5270 ou (514) 982-2910
Director, Marketing & Communications
(514) 282-8484 e.259