Ridgemont Equity Partners backs launch of Clairus Group

U.S. private equity firm Ridgemont Equity Partners has backed the launch of Clairus Group, a Laval, Québec-based automotive glass and claims management provider. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal was done in partnership with Uniban Canada Inc and PH Vitres d’Autos Inc, which together operate an auto glass distribution and installation network in Canada. Clarius, which is led by CEO and President Marc Desmarais, will focus on penetrating new markets organically and through acquisition with Ridgemont’s support. Ridgemont said the company is well-positioned to do this in a “very fragmented” North American industry.


Uniban Canada, PH Vitres d’Autos and Ridgemont Equity Partners Join Forces to Launch the Clairus Group

April 04, 2018

LAVAL, Quebec & CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Uniban Canada and PH Vitres d’Autos, established leaders in automotive glass distribution, fulfillment and claims management, have strengthened their expansion strategy thanks to their new partnership with Ridgemont Equity Partners, a U.S. based private equity firm. Led by the trusted management of Mario Jutras and Marc Desmarais, these organisations have launched the Clairus Group, the second largest vertically integrated automotive glass and claims management provider in North America.

The Clairus Group is a direct continuation of Uniban’s recent growth. In the past year, Uniban has added Go! Glass & Accessories, Star Auto Glass and the Docteur du Pare-Brise to its trusted family of networks. Uniban has also renewed its claims management agreements with leading Canadian insurance companies using its omnichannel Conversence claims management platform. These accomplishments, combined with the strength of Ridgemont Equity Partners, cement the Clairus Group as a leading force in the market place.

“We are proud to announce this milestone in the evolution of our organisations, which celebrate over 50 years of experience,” said Marc Desmarais, CEO and President of Clairus. “Our partnership with Ridgemont reinforces the strength of our organisation and paves the way for continued growth throughout North America and abroad. Ridgemont has deep experience in the automotive industry and shares our vision of growing Clairus’ presence into new geographies and investing in the latest technology, while remaining committed to our existing markets and core values that our customers expect.”

“Ridgemont has been investing in the transportation sector for well over a decade – from aftermarket distribution and services to third party logistics,” said Jack Purcell (Partner) and Tim Dillon (Principal) in a joint statement on behalf of Ridgemont. “The industry is very fragmented, and we seek to identify market leaders who have exemplified the ability to create scale through market penetration and M&A and who have reaped the benefits of early investment in technology. Clairus’ vertically integrated model and product flexibility will allow the Company to penetrate new markets both organically and through acquisition, while strengthening our presence in those areas where Clairus is already well established. Our capital will provide Clairus with significant firepower to pursue acquisitions and, notably, will allow the Clairus team to provide business owners looking for liquidity with highly flexible transaction structuring solutions. We are incredibly excited to back the management team at Clairus, and we look forward to executing on our growth strategy in Canada and the U.S. together.”

About the 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 18 distribution centers and services its clientele through more than 220 in-bay service centers and 300 mobile units. More than ever, customers are benefitting 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 $4.0 billion in 142 companies. The firm focuses on investments of $25 million to $125 million in industries in which it has deep expertise, including basic industries and services, energy, healthcare, and technology and telecommunications. www.ridgemontep.com

Ridgemont Equity Partners
Kelly Lineberger, 704-944-0935

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