Kian Capital has acquired The Eastwood Company in partnership with the company’s management team.
Eastwood is an e-commerce provider of branded professional grade automotive tools, equipment and supplies to the Do-It-Yourself (“DIY”) automotive enthusiast market. The company maintains more than 4,000 SKUs of car restoration tools, auto paints and painting equipment, metal fabrication equipment and other products that are sold to DIY enthusiasts, professional mechanics and racers. Company-owned brands include Eastwood, Fairmont and Rockwood.
Eastwood has a research and development team that has developed many in-house tools and accessories and the company is a two-time winner of Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice Award for product design. Eastwood also maintains a library of thousands of “how-to” car repair, restoration, and customization videos.
The company, led by CEO Brian Huck, was founded in 1978 by Curt Strohacker and is headquartered near Philadelphia in Pottstown, PA (www.eastwood.com). “We are very pleased to partner with Kian Capital during this exciting next phase of Eastwood’s growth,” said Mr. Huck. “Kian Capital’s successful track record with businesses in the automotive aftermarket and strategic resources made them a great fit to help us capitalize on our many growth opportunities, and to continue bringing our customers the quality, value, service and innovation they have enjoyed for the last 41 years.”
Kian acquired its equity interest in Eastwood from Mr. Strohacker and is the first institutional investor in the company. Kian has invested in the automotive aftermarket before. In March 2018, the firm acquired The Retrofit Source, an Atlanta-based provider of branded and third-party automotive aftermarket lighting products.
“Eastwood is perfectly aligned with Kian Capital’s investment philosophy of providing first-time institutional capital to leading companies in attractive niche markets,” said Scott Buschmann, a partner at Kian Capital. “Eastwood is at the intersection of three Kian Capital investment themes: automotive aftermarket, e-commerce business model, and enthusiast customer base. We are very impressed by CEO Brian Huck and the company’s first-class management team, and we look forward to working with them to help Eastwood accelerate its growth trajectory and achieve its full potential.”
Kian Capital invests from $7 million to $30 million of equity and subordinated debt in companies that have revenues of $15 million to $150 million and EBITDA of $2 million to $15 million. The firm makes both control and non-control investments. Sectors of interest include business services, distribution and logistics, healthcare services, consumer services and products, and niche manufacturing. In March 2018 the firm held a final hard cap closing of KMP II LP with total capital of $250 million. Kian Capital has offices in Charlotte and Atlanta (www.kiancapital.com).
Brown, Gibbons, Lang & Company (www.bglco.com) was the financial advisor to Eastwood.
© 2019 Private Equity Professional | May 9, 2019