OEConnection LLC, a global automotive technology provider for OEM distribution networks, Providence Equity Partners L.L.C. and Genstar Capital, have announced a definitive agreement under which Genstar will acquire a majority stake in OEC from funds advised by Providence. As part of the transaction, current investors Ford Motor Co. and General Motors will each retain their minority investments in the company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
OEC was founded in 2000 as a partnership between several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Ford and General Motors, to provide high-quality technology solutions to facilitate the sale of original equipment replacement parts between automakers and franchised dealers and their wholesale customers. Since its founding, the company has expanded to also provide software and technology solutions in the data, supply chain and service segments of OEMs’ businesses. Today, OEC is a leading provider of software solutions and data to the original equipment parts industry and is one of the industry’s only end-to-end comprehensive platforms, serving more than 30,000 auto dealers globally, 36 global OEM brands and more than 135,000 global auto repairers.
“We are pleased to partner with the Genstar team as we continue our positive momentum and further expand OEC’s product and service offerings for our customers around the world,” said Chuck Rotuno, OEC chairman and CEO. “We look forward to the benefit of Genstar’s industry expertise and strategic insights from their many years of investing in the software sector. We are grateful to Providence for their support and guidance over the past three years, which has certainly helped transform OEC into a larger, high-growth business with a global footprint and enhanced capabilities.”
Geoff Miller, director at Genstar, said, “We are excited to partner with OEC and its senior leadership team in this next chapter for the company. The team has built an impressive business delivering high value solutions to OEMs, OEM dealer networks, collision specialists and auto repair professionals. We will provide the additional investment capital and resources to support realization of the company’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.”
“It has been a privilege to work with Chuck and the OEC team, as well as our partners at Ford and GM, to help accelerate the growth of the company,” said Davis Noell, managing director at Providence. “Through significant organic and inorganic initiatives, OEC has achieved tremendous success over the past three years, expanding into new international markets, enhancing its product offerings and data capabilities and significantly bolstering its salesforce to better serve its growing customer base. We have the utmost confidence that the Company will continue its successful growth trajectory under Genstar’s stewardship.”
The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, subject to customary closing conditions.
UBS Investment Bank is serving as financial adviser and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is serving as legal adviser to OEC and its shareholders, including Providence. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is serving as legal advisor to Genstar.