BDC Capital, the investment arm of BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada), has invested over $180 million in change-of-ownership transactions since December 2017 and is on track with its pledge to invest $900 million in such deals over five years.
“Investing in business transitions is one of our core offerings,” said Patrick Latour, Senior Vice President, Growth & Transition Capital at BDC Capital, in a statement.
“Our Growth & Transition Capital team specializes in helping the many Canadian entrepreneurs who are planning business transitions or seek to pursue an acquisition. We have a customized and flexible offering with a goal to help build strong Canadian companies with a competitive edge on the regional, national and global stage.”
Recent transactions have included Calgary’s David Aplin Group, which is one of Canada’s largest recruiting and placement firms, with offices across the country, strong growth potential and experienced management.
BDC Capital provided mezzanine financing and a cash flow loan to allow the continuation of an intergenerational ownership transfer so that the company can remain a majority family-owned enterprise.
Jeff Aplin, President and CEO of the David Aplin, said the BDC financing gave him the opportunity to take over ownership of the company from his parents David and Grace. That transaction was completed in 2018.
“We’ve been on a healthy expansion and growth curve and that’s definitely what we’re doing. We’re re-investing in the company. We’ve certainly hired a bunch of people in a number of different markets to support that but we’ve also changed our strategy now of going at it more by talent and more narrow niche rather than just a broad geography,” he said. “It’s a pretty exciting time for the company for sure.
“There’s lot of disruption. Disruption of course in every business. But for sure in our industry and in the staffing industry there’s enormous applications for artificial intelligence and robotics influencing the labour market and we’re seeing that everyone. So it’s pretty exciting. Lots of change and lots of challenge.”
The company, which was first founded in 1975 in Edmonton, has offices today in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa and Halifax.
The company has about 125 employees directly working with the company and about 350 contractors.
Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media business reporter based in Calgary.