The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System’s private equity arm is selling its majority stake in a U.S. auto repair company to investment firm Hellman & Friedman.

The pension fund invested in Caliber Collision Centers, an auto collision repair provider with 600 branches around the U.S., in 2013. The transaction will lead to a merger between Caliber and Abra Auto Body Repair of America, a company owned by Hellman & Friedman. This partnership is expected to result in more than 1,000 repair centres across 37 states. 

Read: OMERS buys auto repair shops

The OMERS will retain a minority stake in the combined company. Tim Patterson, managing director of its private equity arm noted Caliber has grown fourfold since the pension fund’s initial investment.

“The OMERS team has been a true partner over the past five years,” said Steve Grimshaw, chief executive officer at Caliber Collision, in a press release. “Their long-term focus, values and work ethic align perfectly with Caliber — and we’re proud that OMERS will continue as our partner as we embark on the next chapter of growth.”

The recent transaction is the fourth company sold by the pension fund in the last two years, said Michael Graham, head of North America at OMERS private equity. “Each sale has resulted in strong income, supporting OMERS core commitment of delivering secure and sustainable pensions for our members and retirees.”

Read: OMERS, Berkshire to sell Husky Injection Molding for $4.9 billion

Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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