Uni-Select Inc. appoints Brent Windom as President and Chief Executive Officer

Boucherville (Québec), April 29, 2019 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) (“Uni-Select”) is pleased to announce that Brent Windom, currently President and Chief Operating Officer, Canadian Automotive Group, has been appointed to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective May 1, 2019.

Mr. Windom has over 30 years of experience of transformational change in the automotive aftermarket industry. During his career, he has held various leadership roles and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Auto Plus ǀ Pep Boys, an important automotive aftermarket parts distributor in the U.S. His previous experience includes the positions of President and Chief Operating Officer of Uni‑Select USA, Inc., Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for the North American operations of Uni-Select, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Uni-Select USA, Inc. and Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising for Middle Atlantic Warehouse Distributor, Inc.

Mr. Windom has over 30 years of experience of transformational change in the automotive aftermarket industry

“Brent Windom has a profound understanding and unparalleled knowledge of both Uni-Select and the industry in which we evolve. He has demonstrated strong leadership capabilities over the years and his skill set is in perfect alignment with what the organization requires during its transformation. We are delighted to have him on board in this capacity,” said Michelle Cormier, Chair of the Board. “On behalf of my fellow Board members, I would also like to thank André Courville for his immense dedication and contribution during his mandate as Interim President and CEO.”

“I am honoured to be taking on this new role and I feel privileged to be leading such a talented team,” said Brent Windom. “As our industry is undergoing structural changes, this period also represents a pivotal moment in the history of Uni-Select. I intend to work in close collaboration with my colleagues in the Management team as we deploy our strategic initiatives, continue to focus on operational excellence and support the growth of our customers.”

Brent Windom is a member of the Board of Directors of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada. He also served on several industry boards in the U.S., of which the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF).

Uni-Select is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial paint and related products in North America, as well as a leader in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada and in the UK. Uni- Select is headquartered in Boucherville, Québec, Canada, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol UNS.

 In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops through a growing national network of more than 1,100 independent customers and over 70 company-owned stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select BUMPER TO BUMPER®, AUTO PARTS PLUS® AND FINISHMASTER® store banner programs. It also supports over 3,900 shops through its automotive repair/installer shop banners, as well as through its automotive refinish banners. 
In the United States, Uni-Select, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of over 200 automotive refinish company-owned stores under the FINISHMASTER banner which services a network of over 30,000 customers annually, of which it is the primary supplier to over 6,800 collision repair centre customers. 
In the UK and Ireland, Uni-Select, through its Parts Alliance group of subsidiaries, is a leading distributor of automotive parts supporting over 23,000 customer accounts with a network of over 180 company-owned stores.

Spring Garage Essentials packed with all new bargains

The Parts Alliance’s Spring Garage Essentials features a huge number of new suppliers and exclusive products.

Garages can gleam again thanks to the new Angry Jester hot and cold pressure washer, new in at only £895 + VAT just in time for spring cleaning. Also in for the first time come 100% original fully supported dealer diagnostics tools from Maverick showcased on the cover and pages 6 to 7.

The group continues to build on the runaway success of the Bendix braking brand with a new range of brake tooling and bleeding solutions. The original Bendix Flutest brand found on the first patented tester is reprised for a brake fluid tester with optional printer. There’s also an offer on the fast-selling Bendix Diagnostic and Service tool now with 3 years’ free software updates.

With weather warming, the cover tempts garages to get 1234YF air con ready with a Denso air con service station at under £2,200 + VAT delivered.

Draper Tools makes a welcome return to Garage Essentials too with pages 24 and 25 showing new automotive trade tools including a digital 3D four wheel aligner, service tablet and code readers. Roller cabinets, a technician’s ‘megakit’ and cleaning equipment complete the line up.

Absolute Alignment offers the latest revenue-generating Bluetooth wheel aligners on page 33 whilst EAE debut new wheel alignment four post lifts from £5,995 + VAT.

Sykes Pickavant’s Carbon Tec HHO carbon cleaning machine appears on page 57 supported with a ‘call for demo’ offer as the units are available for garages to view on all the group’s fleet of eight tool vans.

“It’s an exceptional issue for new products,” said John Wright Product Marketing Director at The Parts Alliance. “There’s a lot here that we hope garages will get excited about seeing.

“We know last season 1234YF really arrived in the aftermarket, so the Denso a/c unit looks likely to sell well.

“We’ve also seen strong demand for carbon cleaning and feel the commitment to offer Sykes’ Carbon Tec HHO machine through our tool vans is going to be well received.”

The 68 page A4 publication is available now free to UK garages from all branches of The Parts Alliance members Allparts, Bromsgrove Motor Factors, Car Parts & Accessories, CES, GMF, SAS Autoparts, SC Motor Factors, Waterloo and GSF Car Parts.

To find out more, please request your free copy from your local branch of The Parts Alliance.

M M Auto Services Ltd named Servicesure’s ‘Autocentre of the Year’ at eagerly anticipated evening ceremony

Servicesure has named M M Auto Services Ltd in Dundee as its ‘Autocentre of the Year’ during an exclusive awards evening which took place at Coombe Abbey on Thursday 11 April.

Launched last year, the competition was created to shine a light on best practice and performance from within the Servicesure Autocentre network.

Around 80 guests – comprising of garage winners, sponsors and managers from The Parts Alliance – were in attendance, dining on a three-course meal as the winners were announced.

As the attendees dined, new President and COO Neil Croxson spoke on the development of The Parts Alliance, before handing over to Paul Dineen, Head of Garage Programmes, to present the awards.

Speaking at the event, Paul said: “Tonight’s winners are a real credit to the Servicesure network, and it’s a pleasure to be able to pay tribute to your professionalism and hard work.

“The network continues to expand rapidly: in October 2018, Manor Motor Company became the 500th member, and numbers have since risen to 540 garages.

“It’s an exciting time for the business, and it’s reassuring to know that we have garages in our network setting such a high standard.”

Each shortlisted garage was recognised for their excellence during the ceremony: Burntwood Auto Centre received the ‘Best Newcomer’ award and Simon Graeme Auto Service Centre took home The Motor Ombudsman’s ‘Customer Service’ trophy, while Lowgate Garage, Chester Auto Services, Gordon’s Garage and A1 Motorist Centre were the winners in their respective regions.

After earlier awarding garage owner Murdo MacIntosh with the ‘Winner for Scotland’ prize, the judges also named M M Auto Services Ltd as the ‘National Winner’ for 2019.

Taking to the stage, a delighted Murdo thanked his hard working staff and loyal customers, as well as paying tribute to Duncan Davidson and Dingbro for their continued support.

The awards were sponsored by a number of Servicesure partners including Bollington Insurance, The Motor Ombudsman, Autotech Recruit, Auto Service Finance, Garage Services Online, Slicker Recycling and Our Virtual Academy.

To find out more about becoming a member of the fast-growing Servicesure network, please visit http://www.servicesureautocentres.com/become-a-servicesure-garage/.

Patent approved for Vetech DPF Professional Cleaner to prevent inferior copycats

The Parts Alliance has confirmed that a patent has been granted for Vetech’s ground-breaking DPF Professional Cleaner, which to-date has treated over 100,000 DPFs and saved motorists huge sums of money in replacement parts.

Vetech’s DPF Professional Cleaner works by breaking down and cleaning diesel particulates – which can contaminate the filters – leaving them to be rinsed away. The pour-in liquid has been shown to remove all visible dirt, soot and ash trapped in the filter cores, returning DPFs to over 95% of their ‘as new’ capacity.

Launched in 2015, the product was so well received that The Parts Alliance sought design protection rights to help garages avoid ‘inferior copy products’ in the wake of MOT changes imposing stricter emissions limits for diesel cars with DPFs.

The patent means that other ‘copycat’ DPF cleaning products should not be sold in the UK and Europe. Replicas often exclude or reduce key active ingredients in an attempt differ a copycat enough to not breach a patented superior product.

John Wright, Product Marketing Director at The Parts Alliance, explained: “This product really has changed the landscape of pour-in DPF cleaning solutions: not only is it unparalleled in its effectiveness, but your warranty won’t be affected by its usage.

“It was only a matter of time before attempts were made to bring sub-standard alternatives to the market, but this patent will help to rid the market of these imitators.”

The Parts Alliance is encouraging any motorist eager to improve emissions without compromising their warranties to speak to their local branch of The Parts Alliance.

Suppliers and customers Spring into action for new Leeds Trade Show

The Parts Alliance has successfully hosted its first major trade show of 2019.

On Wednesday 27th March over 500 customers attended the event, which ran from 5pm at the Centenary Pavilion of Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, taking the opportunity to discuss the latest products, technology, market developments and profit opportunities with more than 50 of the trading group’s key supplier partners.

“We thought we should come for a wander around and see because we’ve never had the chance to get to anything like this before,” said David Gilfeather, owner of DG Autos in Rodley, Leeds. “It’s really great to see so much here and was well worth us coming.”

Branches of BBC Superfactors, BMS Superfactors, GSF Car Parts, SAS Autoparts and Waterloo Motor Trade all invited customers who took the opportunity to not only do business but also listen to interviews with special guests.

Fuzz Townshend from Car SOS talked about highlights from his TV shows whilst three-time British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal discussed improvements to his car and hopes for the upcoming season.

Fuzz said: “For The Parts Alliance to put on an event where garage owners can meet fantastic suppliers and get a better understanding of their products is so valuable.”

Technical talks were given by Comma Oil on how changes in engine technology are impacting the choice of engine lubricants, Schaeffler discussed DMF technology whilst Delphi provided numerous insights on keeping up with developing VM digital service record technology.

“We were delighted by the turnout on our first visit to Leeds with a show of this scale,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance. “We had some great comments from the garages and lots of the suppliers seem to have had some really good discussions and done brisk business; our thanks go to everyone who supported the show.”

Nick Nafahran of Vehicle Repairs UK in Leeds was interested in a Tecalemit tyre changer and said: “I’ve got to see it and got all the information that I need, so it’s been useful.”

The evening ran until nearly 10pm with an extensive prize draw seeing around 20 prizes, generously donated by suppliers, given away to garages on the night.

Andrew Wood of APW Cars in Otley, Leeds added: “I’m here to see new technology.

“I’ve just been inside the REPXPERT van, it’s a real eye opener to see where the industry is going I’d definitely recommend others to try to get to one of these events if they have the chance.

“I’ve only got a little garage and I’m usually in the workshop until late but I’m glad I made the time for this, free food and drink too – so what’s not to like!”

Customers are advised to look out for more events in 2019 says The Parts Alliance.

The Parts Alliance hosts first-ever National Conference

Around 300 managers from across The Parts Alliance converged in Manchester last week for the trading group’s first national conference.

The event was held in the Concorde Conference Centre underneath the iconic supersonic plane on Friday 22nd March. The day was packed with engaging and interactive content, all designed to build a sense of community among the sprawling nationwide network and communicate a future strategy with staff at its heart.

Senior management speeches opened proceedings in the morning, tracing the rapid evolution of The Parts Alliance. Outgoing CEO Peter Sephton, who announced his retirement on Wednesday 20th March following six years with The Parts Alliance, opened the event before handing over to new President and COO Neil Croxson.

Neil emphasised the importance of continuity in the care and quality of service The Parts Alliance network offers customers, citing the family origins of the group and reiterating a commitment to put the people of The Parts Alliance at the heart of that journey.

He said: “The National Conference was a fantastic opportunity to have all of our managers together for the first time and it’s an important milestone for us. We have a strong, diverse and passionate network of teams across the UK who work incredibly hard to deliver the best possible service to our customers.

“Our business is on an exciting journey of growth and we’re in a unique position where we’re able to offer our customers the strength of a national brand alongside the fantastic local service and support they’ve come to expect from our branches.

“From a leadership perspective, it was hugely gratifying to see so many of my colleagues meeting for the first time at the national conference, building new bridges and sharing best practice.”

Managing Director Jonny West and Divisional Directors Steve Gray and Emma Tiernan also provided updates on key projects and business targets, outlining plans for network optimisation, distribution investment, operational improvements and commercial strategy developments.

Managers broke into teams for a series of break-out sessions in the afternoon, featuring sessions from suppliers Brembo, Comma and Schaeffler. They also had the chance meet colleagues from the business’ functional support teams in an exhibition area where each team manned a stand.

Neil added: “We knew the exhibition area would be a valuable addition to the conference, but the fantastic feedback we’ve had from both those who visited the stands and those who manned them has surpassed our expectations.”

The event concluded with an evening meal where guests were treated to a surprise awards ceremony celebrating the success of the branch network from the past year.

GSF Banbury was crowned ‘Branch of the Year’, while SCMF Croydon was awarded ‘New Branch of the Year’. Both branches had performed excellently against an extensive set of KPIs judged by a panel of senior leaders.

Neil Croxson becomes President and COO of The Parts Alliance

Uni-Select Inc. reports Q4 and full year 2018 results

  • Sales up 1.1% to $419.5 million in Q4 and up 21.0% to $1,752.0 million for 2018, driven by the full-year contribution of The Parts Alliance UK segment and organic growth;
  • Consolidated organic growth(1) of 2.3% in Q4 and 1.5% for 2018 with organic growth(1) in all 3 segments for the 2018 full year;
  • EBITDA(1) of $12.8 million for Q4 and $104.9 million for 2018; adjusted EBITDA(1) of $21.4 million for Q4, down 23.4% and of $119.5 million for 2018, up 1.7%;
  • EPS of $(0.06) for Q4 and of $0.86 for 2018, adjusted EPS(1) of $0.13 for Q4 and $1.22 for 2018;
  • Launched a Performance Improvement and Rightsizing Plan of the FinishMaster US segment operations with expected annualized savings of $10 million by the end of 2019 in response to changing market conditions.
  • Continued to generate savings from the 25/20 Plan implemented in late 2017.
  • Initiated search for a new President and CEO.

Unless otherwise indicated in this press release, all amounts are expressed in thousands of US dollars, except per share amounts and percentages.

Boucherville (Québec), February 20,2019 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) (“Uni-Select” or “Corporation”) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2018.

Uni-Select is reporting 2018 sales of $1,752.0 million compared to 2017 sales of $1,448.3 million driven by the full-year contribution of The Parts Alliance UK segment and the strength of organic growth in all three business segments. The Corporation reported adjusted 2018 EBITDA of $119.5 million compared to adjusted 2017 EBITDA of $117.5 million, an increase of 1.7%. Fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA was $21.4 million, down 23.4% from $28.0 million in the fourth quarter 2017. Adjusted earnings per share for the 2018 year amounted to $1.22 versus adjusted earnings per share of $1.32 in 2017.

“Uni-Select’s Board of Directors and management are aligned with shareholders in the common goal of enhancing long-term value. Over the past year, we have pursued and delivered on several parallel initiatives aimed at improving operating and financial performance of the Corporation, such as our 25/20 Plan which has provided favourable results. We intend to build on this success,” stated André Courville, Interim President and CEO of Uni-Select. “While 2018 was a year in which we faced challenges, we generated higher sales and adjusted EBITDA, primarily related to The Parts Alliance acquisition and cost savings from our 25/20 Plan. Our adjusted EBITDA margins nevertheless remained under pressure in the US at FinishMaster.”

“In light of changing market conditions, the Board of Directors, in collaboration with management, also initiated an in-depth review of the US operations along with the development of a broad Performance Improvement and Rightsizing Plan, thereby realigning the business model to adapt to a new market reality and positioning the business for long-term success,” said Michelle Cormier, Chair of the Board of Directors.

Boucherville (Québec), February 20,2019 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) (“Uni-Select” or “Corporation”) today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2018.

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Uni-Select Inc. Reports Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results

  • Sales up 13.4% to $448.8 million, driven by the contribution of TPA and organic growth;
  • Consolidated organic growth(1) of 3.4% with positive organic growth(1) in all 3 segments;
  • EBITDA(1) of $29.7 million; adjusted EBITDA(1) of $34.9 million, up 3.0%;
  • EPS of $0.25, adjusted EPS(1) of $0.37, same as 2017;
  • Launched strategic alternatives review;
  • 2018 guidance reiterated; and
  • Expanded the 20/20 initiative to at least $25.0 million of recurring cost savings by 2020.

Boucherville (Québec), November 14, 2018 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) today reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.

“Our third quarter results demonstrated our focus on execution with improved organic sales growth in all our business units, higher adjusted EBITDA and strong cash flow generation. During the quarter, we deleveraged our balance sheet, bringing our funded debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio to 3.1x and we amended and extended our credit facility to increase flexibility,” said André Courville, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of Uni-Select.

“On September 18, we announced the formation of a Special Committee of independent members of the Board of Directors to oversee a review of strategic alternatives. Since then, the Special Committee and the Board of Directors have had multiple meetings with its advisors and management to identify, review, analyze and evaluate a comprehensive range of alternatives with the goal of maximizing value for our shareholders.”

“We continued to execute on our 20/20 cost savings initiative launched a year ago to generate annual recurring savings of $20.0 million by 2020. To date, we have realized $12.0 million in annualized savings or 60% of the target. In the spirit of continuous improvement and to further drive efficiency, we have identified an additional $5.0 million in cost savings, bringing the total recurring savings to at least $25.0 million by 2020. To achieve the remaining $13.0 million in cost savings, we will need to incur restructuring and other charges estimated at between $9.0 and $11.0 million.”

“In conclusion, we have the management team and strategy in place to drive the business forward. We will continue to open greenfields and actively pursue select acquisitions, all in an effort to drive our operations to generate continued growth and increased profitability with the aim of maximizing shareholder value. All of this would not be possible without the on-going support of all stakeholders, including our employees and shareholders,” concluded Mr. Courville.

Boucherville (Québec), November 14, 2018 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX:UNS) today reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018.

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New GSF Andover branch opens to show trade ‘what good looks like’

The Parts Alliance has opened GSF Car Parts Andover on 8th October 2018. The group’s programme has so far seen eleven branch openings since the start of the year.

The site, located on the north side of the Hampshire town, will build on the existing M3 corridor trade coverage offered by Basingstoke and Southampton North, extending it westwards along the A303.

At over 9,000 square feet, GSF Car Parts Andover adds capacity to significantly boost and extend The Parts Alliance’s capability, ensuring its product offering is easily accessible to more local independent garages and key accounts.

The new branch is sited within modern surrounds on Glenmore Trade Park, amongst a mix of retail and commercial units.

“Adding our Andover branch has created eighteen new job roles within The Parts Alliance,” said Emma Tiernan, Divisional Director of GSF Car Parts.

“Trade response has been great; we’ve found lots of garages wanting to buy more from us already who can now gain from improved delivery and service from a GSF Car Parts branch on their doorstep”.

“We’re eager to get out and show more garages that this branch really is what good supply looks like in 2018.”

The Parts Alliance is expected to continue to open branches under its portfolio of trusted motor factor brands in parallel with exploring growth opportunities that may arise from new membership enquiries or acquisitions.

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