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Maxim buys Thunder Bay company

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Maxim's Doug Harvey used to own C.C. Poulin Equipment Limited of Thunder Bay.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Maxim's Doug Harvey used to own C.C. Poulin Equipment Limited of Thunder Bay. Photo Store

A Winnipeg trucking company has put an important pin in the map with its latest acquisition.

Maxim Truck & Trailer has purchased C.C. Poulin Equipment Limited in Thunder Bay, Ont., for an undisclosed sum.

Adding the International brand truck dealer for northwestern Ontario fills out the company's truck and trailer sales and service offerings from Montreal to Vancouver, said Doug Harvey, Maxim's CEO.

"In our business, and you're seeing it on the car side, too, it's hard to compete on volume buying and parts with the single-dealership-in-one-town model," he said.

'There are so many ways to transition a company and many of them are not good for employees'

-- C.C. Poulin president Dan Poulin

"We're working on increasing our footprint. We're a service-oriented company. We want to service the one-truck owner in one town and also increase our network so we can service those customers in multiple provinces."

To show that if you hang around in business long enough, anything can happen, Harvey said he owned the Thunder Bay operation until 1990, when he sold it to the Poulin family.

C.C. Poulin, which has 30 employees and annual revenue of $12 million, will continue to operate under its own name until Oct. 31, at which time its systems and branding will switch over to Maxim.

Dan Poulin, president of C.C. Poulin, as well as his brothers, Dale (service manager) and Darrin (parts manager) have signed contracts to stay with Maxim for at least five years.

Dan Poulin said his family had been talking about a succession plan for some time and when Harvey, who is a good friend, said in early 2013 he might be able to help with that, the deal was set in motion.

"It took a long time and a lot of effort. We're pleased that Doug was able to take all of our employees and there was no disruption to their benefits or wages. That was very important to us. There are so many ways to transition a company and many of them are not good for employees," he said.

Maxim has a few other irons in the fire. It is spending $3 million to build a finishing shop and manufacturing facility for specialty trailers at its Arne's Welding division, a local manufacturer of trailers for the resource industry.

It has also purchased land in Edmonton and will start building a 60,000-square-foot Summit Trailer retail dealership, including parts, service and sales, next year.

Also in the last year, it bought a majority interest in Tereck Diesel Ltd., a repair shop in Winnipeg's east end.

Maxim, which has more than 800 employees and annual revenue of more than $300 million, has 19 locations across the country, including five in Winnipeg. It also owns two Summit Trailer outlets.

Harvey owns 90 per cent of Maxim with the remainder held by Cliff Kolson.

Harvey said he has never considered taking the company public.

 

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 2, 2014 B4

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