British Columbia Investment Management Moves into Home Franchisor

By David G. Barry


British Columbia Investment Management Corp. (BCI), which invests on behalf of the province’s public pension funds, has acquired a piece of a residential services franchising platform.

Terms of BCI’s investment in Authority Brands was not disclosed, but the franchisor designed it as a “significant minority stake.” Apax Partners LLP, which first invested in Authority Brands in 2018, is retaining majority ownership.

Based in Columbia, Md., Authority Brands owns companies that include 12 home service franchisors. These include America's Swimming Pool Co., Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, The Cleaning Authority, Color World Painting, CareGivers, Monster Tree Service and Mosquito Squad. The brands provide home services through approximately 860 franchise owners across North America.

It will look to grow through additional acquisitions and strategic initiatives, including franchise development, technology transformation and international expansion.

In a prepared statement, Dave Hong, BCI’s senior managing director, private equity, said Authority Brands fits with its focus on investing “in market-leading companies with strong management teams, multiple levers for growth, and resilient business models that create shareholder value.”

BCI’s private equity program actively manages a CA$24.8 billion (US$18.6 billion) global portfolio. It invests in direct and co-investment deals in business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications (TMT).

As of March 31, the end of its fiscal year, BCI had CA$211 billion (US$157.8 billion) under management. It reported a return of 7.4%, beating its benchmark of 4.6%.

Eleven pension funds make up 78% of BCI’s assets under management, while three insurance funds account for another 20% of the assets. Its clients include the BC Hydro and Power Authority Pension Plan, the British Columbia Railway Co., and the Public Service Pension Plan.