Robertson Janitorial Ltd., was established in 1926 and had primarily provided janitorial services in Quebec.
Robertson Janitorial Ltd. changed its name to ‘‘Service d’entretien Distinction Inc.’’ in 1987 and to ‘‘Distinction Group Inc.’’ in 1989 as its business expanded.
Distinction Group Inc. began trading as a public company on the TSX in November 2007, further to its amalgamation with 9184-0561 Quebec Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dacha Capital Inc. As part of its growth strategy, Distinction Group Inc. expanded its business outside of Quebec with the acquisition of Omni Facility Services Canada in Fiscal 2008.
Distinction Group Inc. expanded its operations in the damage restoration sector in Fiscal 2008 with the acquisition of Steamatic Metropolitan Inc., a large damage restoration company in Quebec, and strengthened its business in the mechanical maintenance services sector in Fiscal 2009 with the acquisition of Immotik Inc. and Immotik Electrik Inc.
On November 3, 2011, Birch Hill formed Clean Holdings Inc. under the laws of the Province of Quebec to privatize Distinction Group Inc.
On January 1, 2012, Distinction Group Inc. became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clean Holdings Inc. following an amalgamation between Distinction Group Inc., Clean Acquisition Inc. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Clean Holdings Inc.), and 9253-6184 Quebec Inc. (a corporation indirectly owned by Claude Bigras, President and CEO of GDI).
On January 16, 2012, Clean Holdings Inc. acquired Industries de Maintenance Empire Commanditaire Inc., a commercial janitorial services business with operations in Ontario and Eastern Canada in addition to Quebec.
Later in 2012, Distinction Group Inc. entered the U.S. outsourced janitorial services industry with the acquisition of OFS North American Inc. and OFS Acquisition Inc. Also in 2012, Distinction Group Inc. continued to expand its business in Canada with the acquisition of commercial janitorial services businesses in Calgary and Winnipeg. These acquisitions strengthened Distinction Group Inc.’s position as Canada’s leading integrated janitorial service provider.
On January 1, 2013, Clean Holdings Inc. proceeded to a reorganization pursuant to which, among other things, it amalgamated with substantially all of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, namely Distinction Group Inc. and Industries de Maintenance Empire Commanditaire Inc. Clean Holdings Inc. changed its name to ‘‘GDI Integrated Facility Services Inc.’’ in its English version and ‘‘GDI Services aux immeubles inc.’’ in its French version.
In 2013, GDI entered the janitorial and sanitation supplies distribution market with the acquisition of Superior Solutions in Ontario. Also in 2013, GDI continued to expand its business in Western Canada with the acquisition of two commercial cleaning services businesses in Alberta, Servpro Cleaning (Calgary) Inc. and Western Maintenance (Edmonton) Ltd.
In 2014, GDI expanded its operations in the U.S. through the acquisition of Matrix, L.L.C. and Cardinal Building Maintenance, Inc. and further strengthened its position in Ontario with the acquisition of Ability Janitorial Services (Ottawa) Ltd. In the same year, GDI established its cleaning equipment, maintenance and repair business with the acquisition of Atelier Multi Expert (2003) Inc.
On April 1 and April 2, 2015, GDI acquired OSS Services, LLC and OSS Management, LLC, a commercial janitorial services business in the United States and Produits Sany Inc., a janitorial products distribution business in Canada. On June 1, 2015, the Company acquired Asbury Building Services Inc., further strengthening its position in the Ontario market. On November 6, 2015, the Company concluded the acquisition of Ainsworth Inc. (“Ainsworth”), a leader in Canada providing a broad range of multi-trade repair and servicing of mechanical, HVAC-R, electrical, cabling (for data transport) and high voltage systems and equipment. Ainsworth services facilities within the commercial, industrial, institutional, government and residential markets. The acquisition of Ainsworth significantly increased the size of GDI’s Technical Services business unit and positioned GDI among the larger companies operating in the North American facility services industry.
On November 13, 2016, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Direct Energy Business Services Ltd. (“Airtron”), doing business as Airtron Canada. Airtron provides a broad range of multi-trade services, including mechanical maintenance, HVAC and building automation services for commercial and institutional clients in Canada. The acquisition of Airtron expanded Ainsworth’s services portfolio and strengthened GDI’s Technical Services business unit. The acquisition added building automation and energy efficiency services to Ainsworth’s service portfolio, as well as the ability to remotely monitor and manage facility energy consumption, perform remote equipment diagnostics and problem resolution, and provide clients with real-time data analytics on building system performance. On July 1, 2017, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Poleair Technical Inc., a company providing technical services in Sarnia, Ontario.
On December 1, 2017, GDI Services Inc. concluded the acquisition of Seattle Building Maintenance Inc., a company providing janitorial services in Seattle, Washington..
On March 1, 2018, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Mechanical Design & Installation, LLC, a U.S. company providing technical services in Detroit, Michigan. On April 30, 2018, GDI Services Inc. concluded the acquisition of a U.S. Janitorial service business located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On May 1, 2018, Superior Solutions concluded the acquisition of Equipement Sanitaire Cherbourg (1977) Inc., a distribution company in Sherbrooke, Québec. On June 1, 2018, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of BSD Solutions Ltd., a business providing technical services in Winnipeg, Manitoba. On September 20, 2018, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Simpkin Mechanical Inc. and Simpkin Electrical Contractors Ltd., which are providing technical services in Montreal, Quebec. On December 1st, 2018, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Gordon Latham Ltd., a business providing technical services in Vancouver, British Columbia.
On January 1st, 2019, GDI Services Inc. concluded the acquisition of AMPM Facility Services Corp, which operates in commercial janitorial services in Boston, Massachusetts. On April 1, 2019, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Digicon Building Control Solutions Limited, a building automation and building information systems company based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. On the same date, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of T.S.M. Limited, a Sarnia, Ontario-based multi-trade services provider. On April 26, 2019, the Company exited the damage restoration business through the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of Steamatic Metropolitan Inc. On August 1, 2019, Ainsworth acquired Barcol Controls Ltd., a Winnipeg, Manitoba-based multitrade services provider specializing in building automation systems and mechanical services. On September 1, 2019, GDI Services Inc. concluded the acquisition of Commercial Cleaning Company, a janitorial services company operating in the State of Maine, U.S. with offices in Portland and Bangor. On October 1, 2019, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Airco Ltd., a Sudbury, Ontario-based multi-trade contractor providing mechanical services in Northern Ontario. On December 1, 2019, the Company acquired the Mississauga, Ontario-based National Corporate Housekeeping Services Inc. (“NCH”) and subsequently conveyed all of NCH’s assets and liabilities to the Company’s Ontario-formed janitorial services limited partnership, GDI Services (Canada) L.P. On January 15, 2020, Ainsworth concluded the acquisition of Vancouver, British Columbia-based ESC Automation Inc. and its two U.S. subsidiaries, Delta Connects Inc. and New Patriot Energy Inc. (collectively, “ESC”). Operating out of 12 regional offices in North America, ESC is a leading and highly regarded building systems integrator with a diverse services portfolio, including, among other services, the installation and maintenance of building automation systems, security systems, HVAC systems as well as newer technologies such as real time locating systems, building analytics, and energy management systems. The ESC acquisition further strengthens Ainsworth’s building automation systems business across Canada and in Washington, Oregon, New Jersey and New York States in the U.S., and positions Ainsworth as a master systems integrator with the capacities to install and service multiple types of building systems and related technologies.
Ainsworth would go on to welcome The BPAC Group Inc. and their subsidiaries, BP Mechanical, BP Air Conditioning and Legacy Insulation to the GDI Group of Companies. Established in New York City in 1978, BP is one of the largest and most respected mechanical services providers in New York. Focusing primarily on the commercial sector, BP provides retrofit, renovation and on-call HVAC and mechanical services to many of the most recognized Class A properties in New York City. BP is Ainsworth’s largest acquisition in the USA, and will play a significant role in Ainsworth’s future growth in the U.S. market.