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August 7, 2014

BGL Burns Rubber with eCommerce Transaction

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company (BGL) announced today the recapitalization of ECS Tuning, Inc. (ECS), a world leading ecommerce retailer of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories, with Bertram Capital (Bertram), a Northern California-based private equity firm focused on investing in middle-market business services, consumer, industrial, healthcare, and technology companies. As a strategic partner, Bertram will leverage its deep network and experience across the ecommerce sector to support ECS’ growth initiatives. BGL’s eCommerce Investment Banking Team served as the exclusive financial advisor to ECS. The specific terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ECS has grown rapidly, having evolved from a family-owned service garage into a leading, technologically advanced ecommerce platform serving the Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Porsche and Volkswagen enthusiast markets. Today, ECS’ site is one of the web’s most popular destinations for German car enthusiasts, offering more than one million performance, genuine, and aftermarket parts and tools, collectively comprising the largest and highest quality e-catalog of its kind. Engaging a recession-resistant, enthusiast customer base, ECS has built an ecosystem of products, content, and media, and has cemented itself as the one-stop resource for its customer’s entire automobile ownership experience.

“From our very first interaction, we knew that the BGL Consumer Team understood exactly what separates ECS from traditional players in our industry and truly appreciated the unique nature of our ecommerce and technology platform,” stated Brian Demrovsky, co-CEO of ECS. “BGL demonstrated a tireless commitment to our deal from start to finish and positioned us well to tell our story to the most suitable investors in the space,” commented Tom Demrovsky, co-CEO at ECS. Tom further added, “We feel confident that our business is even stronger with a great partner in Bertram that shares our vision for the future of ECS Tuning.”

John Tilson, Managing Director and Head of BGL’s Consumer Team, commented, “It is always an honor to work with innovative and passionate entrepreneurs like Brian and Tom. From day one, our goal was to provide objective and strategic advice to help ECS find the best partner to help them achieve their goals. We were very impressed with Bertram’s thoughtful and pragmatic approach during our discussions, and feel that they both appreciate the value of the business that Brian and Tom have built and bring strong operational and strategic expertise that will further enhance ECS’ growth.”

“Brian, Tom, and their team have built an impressive organization offering consumers a differentiated buying experience through proprietary vehicle kits, in-house R&D efforts, and a rich social media experience,” said Jeff Drazan, Bertram Capital’s Managing Partner. “We are honored that Brian and Tom selected Bertram Capital as their partner to further build ECS Tuning as both a brand and premier online destination.” Ryan Craig, Partner at Bertram Capital added, “The Company’s passion is infectious. It starts with Tom and Brian and is reflected in every facet of the business, from ECS’ proprietary products to the efficiency of its internal systems. At Bertram Capital, we target eCommerce companies that fuse unique content with proprietary products. ECS Tuning provides the foundation for a broader ecommerce platform focused on aftermarket automotive parts. We intend to expand our presence across a variety of automotive makes and believe the add-on acquisition opportunities in this sector will be numerous.”

John Tilson and Joe Boleski led the BGL transaction team.  David Lewis and Christopher Hunt of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A. served as legal counsel to ECS.