Boucherville (Québec), April 1, 2021 – Uni-Select Inc. (TSX: UNS) (“Uni-Select”) is pleased to announce that Brian McManus will be appointed Executive Chair subject to his election to the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on May 13, 2021.
Brian McManus is a seasoned executive having recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Stella-Jones Inc. (TSE-SJ) for close to 20 years. Under his leadership and strategic direction, Stella-Jones grew from under $100 million in revenues to over $2 billion. During his tenure, he consistently outperformed key benchmarks and industry peers, creating exceptional value for shareholders through strategic acquisitions and operational excellence, while also building a strong and talented management team.
“We are extremely pleased to have Brian join Uni-Select in the newly-created position of Executive Chair. Brian is recognized as the strategic mind behind the exceptional growth and value creation in his previous role and we anticipate leveraging his outstanding experience and track record to spearhead the strategic direction of Uni-Select,” said Michelle Cormier, Chair of the Board of Uni-Select Inc.
“Over the past few years, we have implemented several optimization initiatives to create a leaner and more agile company, effectively generating over $84 million in annualized cost savings. Today, Uni-Select is much stronger and well-positioned for profitable growth as the markets progressively recover. Brian is well recognized for his entrepreneurial spirit and capacity to execute a well-planned strategy that he develops with his team. I look forward to working in close collaboration with Brian to take Uni-Select to the next level and continue to build shareholder value,” stated Brent Windom, President and Chief Executive Officer, Uni-Select Inc.
“I am excited for the opportunity to join Uni-Select and to work with the Board and the management team to develop the blueprint for the next few years with a focus on growing the business and value creation. Our ability to draw on Brent’s understanding and knowledge of both Uni-Select and the industry is valuable for Uni-Select and the team,” concluded Brian McManus.
Subject to her election to the Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Michelle Cormier will become the Lead Director. Her primary responsibilities will be to facilitate the functioning of the Board independently of the executives of the Corporation and provide independent leadership to the Board and the individual directors on the Board. Brent Windom will continue as President and CEO. His main responsibilities will be to manage day-to-day operations and work in close collaboration with the Executive Chair to set the Corporation’s strategy and operational roadmap. As Executive Chair, Brian McManus’ key responsibilities will be to collaborate with the CEO and the senior leadership team to develop the strategic direction of the Corporation and oversee its successful implementation.
Eric Bussières is Stepping Down as Executive Vice-President and CFO
After more than five years with Uni-Select, Eric Bussières, Executive Vice-President and CFO, will be stepping down from his position to pursue other opportunities. He will remain with the Corporation until June 30, 2021 to ensure a smooth transition. “We thank Eric for his many years of dedicated service and contributions as a valued member of the executive team. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” said Mr. Windom.
Uni-Select announces the appointment of Anthony Pagano to the position of Chief Financial Officer effective May 17, 2021. Until recently, Mr. Pagano was the CFO of Terrapure Environmental Ltd., a Canadian provider of innovative, cost effective environmental service and recycling solutions. Prior to that, he occupied a variety of senior positions at Restaurant Brands International including serving as President, Burger King, Asia Pacific and Head of Finance and Retail at Tim Hortons. Previously, he occupied increasingly senior finance and operations roles at Dollarama L.P. Earlier in his career, he worked in investment banking at RBC Capital Markets. Additionally, he sits on the Board of MDA, Canada’s largest space-technology developer and manufacturer. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Engineering – Mechanical from McGill University and is a CFA charter holder. Mr. Windom added, “I am very happy to welcome Anthony to Uni‑Select. His exposure to a variety of industries and experiences will be instrumental as we take advantage of the market recovery.”
Other Changes to the Board of Directors
Rob Molenaar and Richard G. Roy will not be standing for re-election at the May 13, 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. “We thank Rob for his invaluable contribution over the years, specifically as Interim President of FinishMaster where he led the beginning of a rightsizing of the company to adjust to changing market conditions. A special thanks to Richard who has held various roles within the Corporation over the past 20 years. His unparalleled commitment and dedication have guided the Board and management with veracity,” commented Michelle Cormier.
Martin Garand, Senior Director, Québec Relationship Investing at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a long-standing shareholder of Uni‑Select, will join the Board of Directors, subject to his election at the Annual Meeting of Shareholders. “We welcome Martin to the Board and look forward to our continuing relationship with the Caisse. Martin’s knowledge of the industry and Corporation will be invaluable”, continued Michelle Cormier. With these latest changes, going forward, we will have ten Board members, of which eight are independent and two are women.
With over 4,800 employees in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., Uni-Select is a leader in the distribution of automotive refinish and industrial coatings and related products in North America, as well as a leader in the automotive aftermarket parts business in Canada and in the U.K. Uni-Select is headquartered in Boucherville, Québec, Canada, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (UNS).
In Canada, Uni-Select supports over 16,000 automotive repair and collision repair shops and more than 4,000 shops through its automotive repair/installer shop banners and automotive refinish banners. Its national network includes over 1,000 independent customer locations and more than 75 company-owned stores, many of which operate under the Uni-Select BUMPER TO BUMPER®, AUTO PARTS PLUS® and FINISHMASTER® store banner programs.
In the United States, Uni-Select, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FinishMaster, Inc., operates a national network of over 145 automotive refinish company-owned stores under the FINISHMASTER® banner, which supports over 30,000 customers annually.
In the U.K. and Ireland, Uni-Select, through its Parts Alliance group of subsidiaries, is a major distributor of automotive parts supporting over 20,000 customer accounts with a network of over 170 company-owned stores. www.uniselect.com