AKRONTwo of the industry's more prominent retail business software/web developers, TASCO Corp. and Net Driven, were bought recently, the latest in a string of acquisitions in this sector.
Both TASCO, along with its affiliated company Signal Extraprise Corp., and Net Driven were acquired in separate deals in recent weeks by larger, more diversified software and web development companies.
ARI Network Services Inc., a Milwaukee-based developer of data-driven software tools and marketing services designed to help dealers, equipment makers and distributors improve sales in selected vertical markets, bought the assets of TASCO, whose business management software suite is designed for use by tire and wheel retailers, repair shops, tire wholesalers and retreaders.
TASCO has served the automotive aftermarket since 1992 with its flagship software, TireWorks HD, which integrates with the firm's TireTrader and TireDataCentral programs, as well as other leading aftermarket-specific information and service providers.
This is ARI's second acquisition in the tire and auto service field in the past seven months. Last October ARI bought TCS Technologies, a provider of software, websites and digital marketing services designed exclusively for dealers, wholesalers, retreaders and manufacturers within the automotive tire and wheel vertical.
ARI got into the automotive aftermarket sector in late 2012 with its purchase of the assets of Web solutions provider 50 Below Sales & Marketing Inc., which had filed for bankruptcy earlier that year.
TASCO will continue operations out of its Wexford, Pa., headquarters, and TASCO CEO Aidan McKenna will remain on board as executive director, TireWorks, TCS Technologies, an ARI Company.
TASCO's programs are used at more than 380 locations across the U.S. and Canada and will join ARI's suite of automotive tire and wheel aftermarket technology solutions sold under its TCS Technologies brand, ARI said.
The acquisition of TASCO consolidates two industry-leading business management software platforms, cementing our position as the most complete technology provider in the automotive tire and wheel aftermarket, said Barry Reese, vice president and general manager of TCS Technologies.
This will not only result in an immediate increase in market share but will serve as a catalyst for growth, allowing our current customers and prospects in the automotive tire and wheel vertical to benefit from our expanded product portfolio.
ARI paid $2.25 million$1.75 million in cash and $800,000 in equityfor TASCO, which is expected to generate $2 million in revenue in fiscal 2016, according to ARI documents. ARI also agreed to a $200,000 cash payment on the anniversary of the transaction, subject to set-off and a working capital adjustment.
ARI claims its products are powered by a proprietary data repository of enriched original equipment and aftermarket content covering more than 17 million part and accessory SKUs. Its catchphrase is Sell More Stuff!
ARI paid $4.2 million last October for TCS and said it expects TCS to generate $6 million in annual revenue.
Net Driven, the website developer focused on the tire retail and auto service sector, was acquired by Internet Brands Inc. a Los Angeles-based online services business originally known as CarsDirect.com.
Founded in 2007 by Patrick Sandone III of Scranton, Pa.-based Sandone Tire Co., Net Driven supplies the automotive aftermarket industry with a comprehensive suite of Web presence products.
Net Driven's keen focus on specific niches within the automotive industry has created a thriving business that nicely complements our existing technology solutions servicing automotive OEMs and franchise dealers, said Robert Brisco, who has served as CEO, president and director of El Segundo, Calif.-based Internet Brands since 1999.
Net Driven's primary client base is independent automotive businesses including tire dealers, auto repair shops, auto body shops, used car dealers and auto parts retailers. The company will join Internet Brands' automotive client solutions portfolio, which also includes Autodata Solutions, Chrome Data and CarsDirect.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Internet Brands is the ideal partner with which to continue Net Driven's rapid growth, said Mr. Sandone, CEO of Net Driven, who will continue to head the business under Internet Brands' ownership.
We're thrilled to be a part of Internet Brands' impressive automotive portfolio and are now in a better position than ever to continue our mission of helping automotive businesses thrive.
As part of Internet Brands, Net Driven will continue to operate from its headquarters in Scranton, while retaining the company's workforce.
Since launching in 1998 as CarsDirect.com, Internet Brands has become a fully integrated online media and client services organization focused on four categories: automotive, health, legal and home/travel.
The company claims more than 75,000 clients and said consumer websites it has developed serve more than 100 million monthly visitors.
The company's Automotive Group manages more than 135 sites, predominantly those of car clubs and enthusiasts' groups, but also including: CarsDirect.com; ChromeData; autodata.net; CarConnection.com; and wikicars.com.
Internet Brands itself was acquired last summer by KKR & Co. L.P., a leading global investment firm.
Other acquisitions in this sector include Constellation Software Inc.'s purchase of ASA Automotive Systems L.L.C. in late 2013, through its Vela Operating Group.