The British Columbia Investment Management Corp. is selling its stake in a Toronto-based trucking company.

The investment manager will sell Pilot Freight Services, which specializes in transporting bulky business-to-business and business-to-consumer products, to Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk. According to the terms of a deal with the company’s current co-owners, the BCI and Atlanta Capital Management Co., Maersk will pay $1.7 billion.

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The BCI and Atlanta Capital Management first bought Pilot, then a family business, in 2016. Following its acquisition, the companies invested $70 million to fund its adoption of technologies designed to automate decision-making. Since 2016, the trucking company’s annual profits have increased from $28 million per year in 2016 to $127 million in 2021. In the same period, its workforce grew from 800 to 2,600 employees.

In a press release, Jason Cawley, senior managing director of private equity at the BCI, credited Pilot’s employees and management with playing a role in increasing the value of the company. “We have enjoyed a fulfilling partnership with ATL and the distinguished management team at Pilot during this investment. We wish Pilot ongoing success in the future.”

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