BV Investment Partners Completes Recapitalization of ECRM

BV Investment Partners said Wednesday that it has completed a recapitalization of The Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing Company. No financial terms were disclosed. As a result of the investment, BV now owns a majority stake in ECRM. Also, Greg Farrar was named CEO of ECRM while Gerald Hobbs, Dan O’Shea and Justin Garrison join the company’s board of directors. Headquartered in Solon, OH, ECRM is a provider of software, data and integrated marketing solutions.


BOSTON, July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — BV Investment Partners (“BV”) today announced it has completed a recapitalization of The Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing Company (“ECRM”), an integrated marketing services, software, and data provider serving consumer product manufacturers and retailers. The investment in ECRM will make BV the majority shareholder and is being done in partnership with ECRM’s founding family and Greg Farrar, the incoming CEO.
ECRM was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Solon, OH. ECRM lends efficiency to the buying and selling process between consumer product manufacturers and retailers by operating a portfolio of highly focused, technology-enabled purchasing events. These events are enabled by ECRM’s proprietary, mobile-optimized software suite MarketGate, which streamlines interactions between trading partners before, during and after events. ECRM also provides comprehensive product promotional data and related analytics tools to retailer and consumer packaged goods clients nationwide through its Ad Comparisons data service. The Company serves manufacturers and retailers within a number of key product categories including health and beauty care, general merchandise, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, electronics and others.
Justin H. Harrison, a Managing Director at BV, said, “In many categories ECRM has become a critical component of the retail supply chain. The Company’s unique events, software and data solutions are embedded in its customers’ work process and lend efficiency to the mission-critical buying, selling and promotional planning processes. We look forward to working with Greg and Mitch to drive the Company’s growth within its existing offerings and through expansion into new verticals.”
ECRM co-founder Mitch Bowlus will remain a significant shareholder in the Company. Mr. Bowlus said, “My father and I founded ECRM together nearly twenty years ago. We met the BV team several years ago and we really clicked based on their experience partnering with families and their deep knowledge in the information services sector. They understand our business and how to help companies at our stage expand and evolve rapidly. I’m excited to partner with BV to help bring the company that my father and I built together to its next stage of growth.”
Concurrent with the transaction, ECRM named Greg Farrar as CEO. Mr. Farrar formerly served as President of Nielsen Business Media and has held executive roles at VNU Expositions, Trade Only Design Library and Bill Communications, a former BV portfolio company. Mr. Farrar said, “ECRM is an incredibly unique business that I have followed and admired for many years. I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the Company. With the additional resources from BV there is no limit to the growth we can achieve.”
Mr. Harrison will be joined by Gerald Hobbs, Dan O’Shea and Justin Garrison on ECRM’s Board of Directors. Gerald Hobbs is BV’s Operating Partner and former Chairman and CEO of VNU, Inc. and Dan O’Shea is a member of BV’s Operating Advisory Board and the former CIO of The Nielsen Company. Justin Garrison is a Senior Associate at BV.
About BV Investment Partners
BV Investment Partners, a lower middle market private equity firm, is currently investing its eighth fund. The Firm is one of the oldest and most experienced sector-focused private equity firms in North America. Since its founding in 1983, BV has invested more than $2.6 billion in over 80 companies, actively targeting investments in the information and business services and communications industries. For more information, please visit
About ECRM
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Solon, OH, The Efficient Collaborative Retail Marketing Company provides business solutions integrating process, vision and technology to key markets. Comprised of Efficient Program Planning Sessions, the powerful MarketGate Application Suite, and the Ad Comparisons data service, ECRM helps buyers and manufacturers improve sales, reduce expenses and go to market faster and more efficiently. For more information, please visit