National Bank Launches a Venture Capital and Development Fund

MONTREAL,Québec - National Bank today announced the creation of the National Bank SME Growth Fund, L.P., (the "Fund") in equal partnership with the Quebec government. The Fund will help support Quebec's economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and the digital transformation of SMEs. Its objective is to raise up to $200 million in capital to be injected by the Quebec government on one hand and by National Bank and private investors related to the Bank on the other hand.

The Fund will complement the bank financing already offered to SME owners to help them with their transfer, growth and acquisition plans, whether in Quebec, elsewhere in Canada or abroad. It will also boost private investments by having several types of investors participate in the stimulus project.

The Fund will be aimed at businesses with assets of less than $200 million or a net worth of less than $100 million operating in any industry and at any stage in their business cycle. National Bank Investments Inc. will assume responsibility as fund manager. The Fund will be marketed in the coming months. More information will be available at that time.

Quotes:

"As part of the ongoing economic recovery, entrepreneurs will need access to various forms of capital to stimulate their growth. That's why we're creating the National Bank SME Growth Fund, L.P., in partnership with the Quebec government. This equity capital fund will complement the bank financing offered to SMEs, supporting their projects and helping to ensure their continuity," said Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank.

"Since the beginning, the Quebec government has been proactive in helping businesses in all industries deal with the crisis. This support is being maintained during the transition and post-pandemic economic recovery. Today, by participating in the creation of the National Bank Fund, our government is continuing to invest in the future of Quebec businesses. Thanks to this partnership, they will have the opportunity to successfully complete their digital transformation and achieve their growth and development goals. This will help them remain competitive in the world of tomorrow, to the benefit of our economy," said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière region.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes certain forward-looking statements. These statements are inherently subject to significant risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances, many of which are beyond the control of the Bank. Except as required by law, the Bank does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, by it or on its behalf. The forward-looking information contained in this press release is presented for the purpose of interpreting the information contained herein and may not be appropriate for other purposes.