Montreal, April 29, 2022 – Unimax Ltd. (“Unimax”), a Canadian leader in automotive tire distribution and manager of various banners, including Point S, is expanding thanks to the addition of a new strategic partner, National Bank Private InvestmentTM (“NBPI”). The National Bank SME Growth Fund, L.P., which is managed by NBPI, and an investment vehicle whose special partners are private investor clients of the National Bank group will acquire the equivalent of a 30% equity stake in the company. The partnership with NBPI has made it possible for Unimax to acquire 100% of the shares of Distribution Stox Inc., the Unimax product distributor.
The Boucherville, Quebec-based company has revenues of close to $600 million and a network of more than 875 licensed points of sale, including the globally recognized Point S banner, which is currently experiencing rapid growth throughout the country. With a strong financial balance sheet, Unimax is able to pursue its accelerated growth plan, notably through acquisitions in the Canadian market. The company has the largest market share in its industry in Quebec and is one of the leaders in Canada.
“Thanks to the commitment of its 450 employees, independent retailers, and some 60 shareholders, Unimax has achieved sustained business growth year after year. I am pleased to have been leading the Unimax team since March and continuing the work started by my predecessor Bruno Leclair and the strong team that has brought us to where we are today. Bruno and I will continue to work together until his retirement on May 31 of this year. The support of a partner like National Bank Private Investment will enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities throughout Canada,” said Jean Novak, President and CEO of Unimax. Bruno Leclair will sit on the board of directors to ensure continuity.
Unimax has over 22 warehouses with a total capacity of close to 2 million tires. It maintains direct relationships with the leading tire manufacturers, so that its many business partners benefit from the advantages of group purchasing. Unimax counts independent retailers, automotive dealerships, and online merchants among its 5,000+ clients. Long-term industry trends like the electrification of vehicle fleets are strong catalysts for growth.
“The National Bank group is proud to support Unimax and its growth plan. They're a company that’s thriving and contributing to the vitality of our many regions. There’s no denying that Unimax is a business success story with many chapters still to be written. This is thanks in large part to the energy of its employees, shareholders, and partners who are all strongly committed to Unimax and its promise to deliver quality that meets the highest customer-experience standards. They will also be able to count on our support as a major partner and benefit from our understanding of the Canadian market to help them serve more communities,” said Luc Ménard, Executive Vice-President, Managing Director and Chief Private Placement Officer at National Bank.
Founded in 1979 and located in Boucherville, Quebec, Unimax is a leader in the Canadian tire industry. The company is a wholesaler, distributor, and representative of a retail network that offers products to independent retailers and garages throughout Canada. Unimax owns the Canadian rights to the internationally recognized Point S banner and has an exclusive portfolio of 5 complementary banners that form a network of more than 875 points of sale. The Point S, Otobox, V1, Méga Pneu, and Prestige Tire banners ensure a strong presence in many regions of Canada.
About National Bank of Canada
With $367 billion in assets as at January 31, 2022, National Bank of Canada, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada's leading integrated financial groups. It has more than 27,000 employees in knowledge-intensive positions and has been recognized numerous times as a top employer and for its commitment to diversity. Its securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA). Follow the Bank’s activities at nbc.ca or via social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
About National Bank Private Investment
National Bank Investments Inc., using the business name National Bank Private Investment, manages the National Bank SME Growth Fund, L.P. National Bank Private Investment (NBPI) is a venture capital and private equity management company that offers diversified investment opportunities to a clientele of seasoned investors from the National Bank network. The capital raised provides support to growing companies that wish to remain in control of their development and work with long-term partners. National Bank Private Investment is a registered trademark of National Bank of Canada.
Communications National Bank
Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Unimax Ltd.
Point S Canada is one of the largest networks of independent tire and auto service retailers in Canada. It has more than 850 points of sale under 7 retail banners in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and the Maritimes. Point S Canada is Unimax’s retail division.