Investors Acquire Stake in Unimax

May 2, 2022

National Bank Investments Inc. has acquired a 30% stake in Unimax Ltd., the company that manages several retail tire and automotive banners in Canada, including Point S. The deal has led to Unimax buying all shares of Distribution Stox Inc., its distributor.

National Bank Investments (dba National Bank Private Investment) is a venture capital and private equity management company.

Unimax, based in Boucherville, Quebec, has revenues of nearly $600 million and a network of more than 875 points of sale, including Point S stores.

According to its website, Distribution Stox has 22 warehouses and a capacity to hold more than 1.2 million tires.

The investment from National Bank comes as Point S Canada pursues nationwide expansion across Canada.

In a press release the company noted, "With a strong financial balance sheet, Unimax is able to pursue its accelerated growth plan, notably through acquisitions in the Canadian market."

Jean Novak, the new president and CEO of Unimax, said, “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.”

Leclair will sit on the board of directors "to ensure continuity," the company said.

Unimax has 22 warehouses with a capacity of nearly 2 million tires and counts independent retailers, automotive dealerships and online merchants among its 5,000-plus clients.

“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.