Genstar Capital, a private equity firm based in San Francisco, is acquiring a majority stake in OEConnection LLC (OEC) from funds advised by Providence Equity Partners, a global asset management firm located in Providence, RI. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.
Current investors the Ford Motor Co. and General Motors will each retain their minority investments in OEC.
Richfield, OH-based OEC started in 2000 as a partnership between several OEMs — including Ford and GM — to facilitate the sale of OE replacement parts between automakers, franchised dealers and their wholesale customers.
Since its founding, OEC has expanded to also provide software and technology in the data, supply chain and service segments of OEMs’ businesses. Now, OEC is a leading provider of software and data to the OE parts industry, serving more than 30,000 auto dealers globally, 36 global OEM brands and more than 135,000 global auto repairers.
OEC Chairman and CEO Chuck Rotuno said the addition of Genstar allows OEC to further expand its product and service offerings. “We look forward to the benefit of Genstar’s industry expertise and strategic insights from their many years of investing in the software sector,” Rotuno stated.
Geoff Miller, director at Genstar, noted that the firm will provide additional investment capital and resources to support the realization of OEC’s growth strategies.
Eli Weiss, managing director at Genstar, added: “Our investment focus in the software sector is to identify companies operating in dynamic markets with opportunities to accelerate growth. We will aggressively identify key acquisitions and opportunities to broaden OEC’s product mix, expand its geographic footprint, and enter adjacent market segments. We look forward to helping build OEC’s future.”
Genstar is no stranger to the auto care industry. Among its current holdings is BBB Industries; Ohio Transmission Corp., a Tier-1 parts supplier; and Innovative Aftermarket Systems (IAS), a marketer, administrator and underwriter of vehicle protection products and related services sold through auto dealers.