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Fort Worth-based ECi Software Solutions, a privately held provider of industry-specific business management and e-commerce software solutions, said March 12 it has been acquired by The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager headquartered in Washington, D.C. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. For more than 30 years, ECi companies have served the manufacturing, office equipment, office supplies, contract office furniture, lumber and building materials, hardware, and jan/san sectors. The company has offices and companies throughout the United States, Australia, England and the Netherlands.
“We are very happy to partner with The Carlyle Group to continue building our leading industry-specific business and e-commerce solutions across a variety of important industries,” commented Ron Books, president and CEO of ECi Software Solutions, in a news release. “Carlyle is committed to investing in ECi as we support the entrepreneurial spirit and profitable growth of small and medium size enterprises. I am confident that with Carlyle, we have made the right choice for the future of our employees, our customers, and our business partners.” The Carlyle Group trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol “CG,” and has approximately $189 billion of assets under management across 118 funds and 100 fund of funds vehicles as of Dec. 31, 2013. The company employs more than 1,500 people in 34 offices across six continents.
Equity for the investment came from Carlyle U.S. Equity Opportunity Fund, which is a Carlyle fund focused on middle market investments. Carlyle has a long history of successful investments in middle market, industry-specific application software solutions companies, including Compusearch, serving the government sector; Gemcom, serving the mining sector; Primatics, serving the financial services sector; Quorum, serving the energy sector; RMI, serving the rail sector; and SchoolNet, serving the education sector. Other select middle market investments include Dynamic Precision Group, an aerospace component manufacturer; Philadelphia Energy Solutions (formerly Sunoco Refinery); Service King, the third largest collision repair multi-shop operator in the U.S.; and Worldstrides, a provider of educational student travel programs. ECi was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Harris Williams & Co., and Carlyle was advised by Latham & Watkins LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.