Birch Hill Cleans Up on Quebec Janitorial Services Firm Sale

Updated on

Canadian buyout firm Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc. is cashing in on part of its investment in Quebec janitorial services firm GDI Integrated Facility Services Inc. through a C$150.4 million ($124.9 million) share sale.

GDI, whose roots go back 89 years in Quebec, sold 9.4 million subordinate shares for C$16 apiece in an offering tied to its proposed takeover by Medwell Capital Corp. later this month, the company said in a statement Wednesday in Edmonton. The combined company will trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol GDI if Medwell shareholders approve the deal at a May 13 meeting.

Medwell priced the offering at the top end of a marketed range, which started at C$14 per share, according to an April 20 regulatory filing. Birch Hill, based in Toronto, received C$109.9 million cash and owns about 32 percent of the new entity, according to May 6 documents.

GDI is among North America’s five biggest janitorial services providers with about 17,000 employees in Canada and the U.S., according to the filing. The Montreal-based company serves customers with office buildings, hotels, shopping centers, industrial facilities, airports and health care sites.

The history of GDI stems to 1926, when Robertson Janitorial Ltd. began offering services in Quebec. The company was renamed Distinction Group in 1989, went public in 2007 and expanded outside Quebec. Distinction was taken private by Birch Hill in 2012, and it continued expanding in Canada and the U.S. through acquisitions while reorganizing under the name GDI. Medwell, an investment firm led by Chief Executive Officer Kevin Giese, agreed March 31 to buy the company to create a single entity under the GDI name and pursue a public offering.

Toronto-Dominion Bank, National Bank of Canada and Desjardins Securities led the sale, which is expected to close around May 14.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE