December 1, 2016 (DETROIT) – Detroit-based private equity firm Rockbridge Growth Equity, LLC today announced the sale of Purchasing Power, the leading specialty e-retailer offering a voluntary benefit to companies and membership organizations across the country, to Flexpoint Ford, LLC, a private equity firm focused on the financial services and healthcare sectors.
Founded in 2001, Purchasing Power is one of the fastest-growing voluntary benefit companies and the leader within the purchase program industry offered through employers. Along with a comprehensive financial wellness platform available at no cost to its customers, Purchasing Power offers an employee purchasing program for name brand consumer products and services using convenient payroll deduction. Available to millions of people as a voluntary benefit at organizations with 1,000+ employees or members, Purchasing Power is offered across more than 20 industry sectors. Its client list includes Fortune 500 companies, associations and government agencies.
Since partnering in 2011, Purchasing Power has leveraged Rockbridge’s investment to focus heavily on the continued development of its technology platform, optimizing the customer’s experience and dramatically increasing its product offering from 400 SKUs to more than 50,000 today. These initiatives helped to more than double Purchasing Power’s revenue and triple earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) during the partnership.
“Our strategic partnership with Rockbridge Growth Equity has been extremely valuable for Purchasing Power,” said Richard Carrano, President and CEO of Purchasing Power. “Through this collaboration, we have increased our revenue streams, expanded our financial wellness platform and undergone rapid growth and expansion allowing us to provide customers with an even more convenient and stress-free way to purchase the items they need.”
Rockbridge Growth Equity was founded in 2007 by Brian Hermelin, Kevin Prokop, and Quicken Loans and Rock Ventures Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The firm invests in companies that specialize in financial and business services, consumer-direct marketing, and sports, media and entertainment industries.
“Purchasing Power’s focus on providing voluntary purchase programs to a wide customer base is unmatched in its industry and the management team has exceeded our expectations,” said Kevin Prokop, Managing Partner of Rockbridge Growth Equity. “We have enjoyed working with the team and look forward to watching the company continue to grow.”
Lazard Middle Market LLC acted as the lead financial advisor and Jefferies LLC also served as a financial advisor to Purchasing Power. Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP provided legal counsel. Boston-based Falcon Investment Advisors partnered with Rockbridge Growth Equity on the initial acquisition of Purchasing Power.
Investing in growth equity and middle-market buyout transactions across various sectors, Rockbridge is active in the market assessing new opportunities and investments as well as companies to add to its portfolio. Since its inception, Rockbridge Growth Equity has invested more than $500 million of equity in its portfolio of companies.
The transaction closed on Thursday, December 1, 2016.
Founded in 2007, Rockbridge Growth Equity, LLC is a Detroit, Michigan-based private equity firm that invests in financial and business services, consumer-direct marketing, and sports, media & entertainment industries. Rockbridge owns equity stakes in Northcentral University, Protect America, Connect America, RapidAdvance, Gas Station TV, ABUV Media and Robb Report, and is affiliated with other leading businesses in its target sectors including Quicken Loans, the 2016 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, Title Source and Fathead. For more information on Rockbridge Growth Equity, visit www.rbequity.com.
Falcon is a private equity firm that invests subordinated debt and equity capital in leading middle-market companies. With more than $3.0 billion of capital under management and an experienced investment team, Falcon is a responsive and resourceful financing partner. Falcon provides $25–$75 million of capital per transaction and is investing through its current fund, Falcon Strategic Partners V, LP. For more information, visit www.falconinvestments.com.
Purchasing Power, LLC, is one of the fastest-growing voluntary benefit companies in the industry, offering a leading employee purchase program for consumer products and services as well as providing financial tools and resources to improve employee financial wellness. Purchasing Power is available to millions of people through large companies including Fortune 500s, associations and government agencies. Headquartered in Atlanta, Purchasing Power is ‘Powering People to a Better Life™’ through its employee purchase program, financial literacy efforts and corporate social responsibility initiatives. For more information, visit www.PurchasingPower.com.