Investment firms acquire web retailer

June 11, 2013 04:05 PM

Eleven years ago, husband and wife Paul and Valerie Holstein launched Inc. with a $30 investment in a domain name and some space in their garage. The web-only retail endeavor was an effort to earn an income while staying at home and caring for their newborn, they say.

The couple strived to run a lean operation over the last decade, taking advantage of such online business tools as free web hosting and a revenue-sharing agreement with PayPal for payment processing. That frugality left the company with no debt, even as it grew web sales to $17.7 million last year, a 5.6% increase from 2011 and a 28% increase from 2009 sales.

Their efforts paid off this week, they say, as they sold a majority stake in to investment firms KT Capital Partners, LP and Capital South Partners. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Paul and Valerie Holstein say they will remain minority owners of the company.

As part of the deal, the company appointed a new CEO, Gerald P. Quindlen, who was previously the president and CEO of computer accessories maker Logitech. Quindlen also serves on the advisory board of Overnear, Inc., a California-based social media start-up company.

“This acquisition will allow the company to accelerate its already strong growth rate,” Quindlen says. “The shift will maximize customer satisfaction and vendor relations in key areas, such as more on-time deliveries, better price, broader product selection, additional expert advice, longer phone support hours, more generous credit terms, and other such service-driven enhancements, while also allowing the company to more effectively compete in a broad range of categories to become the most comprehensive, one-stop online product purveyor in the industry.”

Founded in 2002, sells cable management products for the automotive, computing, home theater and other industries. The merchant will be listed in the upcoming 2013 Second 500 Guide, which is due out July 9.




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