Auto Service World
News   July 23, 2019   by Allan Janssen

Master Mechanic to focus on growth under new ownership

Steve Johnson (left) and Todd Wylie at Master Mechanic’s head office in Mississauga.

By Allan Janssen

The new president of the Ontario-based Master Mechanic repair shop franchise says he brings a background in franchising that will help the company grow in the coming years.

Todd Wylie joined the company earlier this year, shortly after it was purchased by Canadian-based private equity firm Equicapita.

“My focus has been on making sure things are running smoothly and that the franchisees are well taken care of. That’s been my whole objective,” he told Auto Service World. “From there we’re going to focus on organic growth and scalability.”

Wylie comes to the automotive aftermarket from the food services industry. He was vice president of business development for Panago Pizza, before hooking up with Equicapita which shares his passion for helping companies get to higher levels of efficiency and profitability.

“We’re focused on building value in companies,” he said.

The acquisition of the 39-location chain of franchised repair shops was completed in April, led by Equicapita’s managing director for Eastern Canada, Adam Jezewski.

According to a company press release, the opportunity to acquire a successful automotive aftermarket maintenance and repair service business with a diverse and growing base of recurring royalty revenue added industry diversification to Equicapita’s investment portfolio and continued its growth into Eastern Canada.

“Since acquiring Master Mechanic in 2004, Hugh Welsford and Jamie Holmes, Master Mechanic’s owner-operators, have consistently grown system revenue and strengthened the business’ operating processes, brand and presence in the communities that Master Mechanic serves,” Jesewski said.

He said Equicapita had been looking for investment opportunities in the mature automotive repair market to take advantage of “the counter-cyclical and growing demand for these services and favorable long-term outlook, driven by an aging vehicle population throughout Canada.”

Welsford and Holmes continue to work with Master Mechanic on a consulting basis.

“Since our initial meeting with [them] it has been clear that they care about the success of their franchisees and satisfaction of Master Mechanic’s end customers,” said Michael Cook, co-founder and director of Equicapita. “We look forward to supporting the ongoing growth and success of the business.”

Wylie agreed that input from Welsford and Holmes will be welcome as the new owners of the company find their footing.

“They have a tremendous interest in wanting Master Mechanic to do very well,” he said.

Long-time Master Mechanic employee Steve Johnson now serves as vice president of operations.

Master Mechanic is Equicapita’s eleventh portfolio company acquisition, its first automotive aftermarket maintenance and repair service investment, second investment completed by Equicapita’s Eastern Canadian office during its inaugural year of operations and third acquisition of a franchise business.

Equicapita was founded in 2013, with offices in Calgary, Alta and Burlington, Ont. to acquire businesses on a collaborative basis with entrepreneurs and management teams. Their portfolio includes companies in a variety of industries, including:

Levy’s Machine Works Ltd. – Specialty manufacturing company

Metercor – Utility meter solutions

A&R Metal Industries – manufacturer of metal parts

North West Crane – truck cranes

Nutter’s Bulk and Natural Foods

CCMET Metro Testing and Engineering

Smitty’s family restaurants

ESP Salon Sales – Hair and beauty products

I-XL brick and stone products

Shaw Group of Dental Laboratories


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