Ridgemont Equity Partners
Clairus Group Announces New M&A Team and Acquisition of At Pac Auto Parts
January 10, 2019
January 10, Laval, QC, Canada – Clairus Group, a fast-growing, vertically integrated leader in automotive glass distribution, replacement and claims management, today announced the creation of a new team dedicated to North American mergers and acquisitions (M&A). This high-powered working group is led by Yves A. Sicard, who joined the company as Vice-President, Corporate Development at the end of 2018.
An attorney and holder of an MBA, Mr. Sicard has wide-ranging transactional, operational and financial experience gained in Montréal, Toronto, New York, Paris and London. He combines 20 years of transactional experience as an investment banking professional with a decade of executive experience at the helm of high-growth companies. Most recently with Oaklins E. Canada, a Montréal-based investment bank specializing in mid-market M&A, Mr. Sicard has worked for Goldman Sachs, TD Securities and Citibank, among many others.
“Clairus Group has built an impressive foundation for growth, and this new M&A team, with Yves A. Sicard at the helm, is ready to accelerate the company’s North American development,” said Marc Desmarais, President and CEO, Clairus Group. “Mr. Sicard has solid expertise, which, in partnership with Ridgemont Equity Partners, will enable our company to become North America’s largest integrated player in automotive glass distribution, installation and replacement, as well as insurance claims management.”
A rapidly expanding network
Quickly after creating the new M&A team, Clairus Group demonstrated its commitment to growth by acquiring At Pac Auto Parts and its vast network of stores in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes, as well as its three warehouses in Quebec. This transaction was successfully completed with the support of the minority shareholder, Dumas Brothers. The move allows Clairus to craft an ecosystem where the key components of the insurance claims process (automotive glass and collision) all work together seamlessly. The resulting synergy will help the company be more nimble, providing faster, simpler and safer services across its customer base.
“The claims industry is in a state of flux. Consumer needs are evolving—now more than ever, they want advanced services, expert know-how and technological innovation. That’s where we come in. With our service platform, we can quickly and easily look at our customers’ needs and match them with the most qualified repair and claims management professionals,” explained Mr. Desmarais.
Evolving strategic partnerships
During the past two years, Clairus Group had already taken numerous steps to enhance its Canadian market presence, adding Go! Glass & Accessories, Star Auto Glass and Docteur du Pare-Brise (Neuromage) to its existing VitroPlus, UniglassPlus and Ziebart banners.
With the arrival of Ridgemont Equity Partners as its U.S. financial partner in early 2018, Clairus has kick-started a new phase of expansion into Western Canada and the United States, transforming Clairus into a dominant player in the North American automotive glass and insurance claims industry. The recruitment of a team entirely dedicated to M&A, led by Mr. Sicard and supported by Mr. Desmarais, will propel the company’s next acquisition phase, to be announced in the first quarter of 2019.
About Clairus Group
The Clairus Group is a leading technology-enabled provider of replacement, repair and recalibration services for automotive glass and related advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), serving vehicle owners, fleets, and insurance carriers. The Company currently operates 22 distribution centres and services its clientele through more than 220 in-bay service centres and 300 mobile units. More than ever, customers are benefiting from the Company's automotive glass expertise and its cutting edge on-demand claims technology.
About Ridgemont Equity Partners
Ridgemont Equity Partners is a Charlotte-based middle market buyout and growth equity investor. Since 1993, the principals of Ridgemont have invested over $5 billion. The firm focuses on equity investments up to $250 million and utilizes a proven, industry-focused investment approach and repeatable value creation strategies. Ridgemont’s most recent flagship fund, REP III, was formed in 2018 and has $1.65B of committed capital.