New Mountain starts DRB Systems sale process

DRB, vertical software provider for a niche segment in the automotive vertical, is likely to see a mix of strategics and PE firms bidding in the auction's first round, sources tell PE Hub.

New Mountain Capital has kicked off a sale process for DRB Systems, a point-of-sale and hardware provider for the car wash industry, sources familiar with the matter told PE Hub.

The firm hired William Blair to provide financial advice on the process, which is currently in its early stages, the people said.

DRB is likely to see a mix of strategics and PE firms bidding in the first round, they said.

Sponsor-backed strategics might include the likes of Thoma Bravo-backed T2 Systems and Genstar Capital’s Sonny’s Equipment, some of the sources said.

DRB Systems, based in Akron, Ohio, provides software and hardware innovations tailored to the car wash industry. Founded in 1984, the company says that it powers more of the top 50 conveyorized car wash chains than any other technology provider. Dan Pittman has led DRB as CEO since August 2018.

DRB generates around $60 million in EBITDA and nearly $175 million in revenue, the people familiar said.

The sale is expected to value the company north of $1 billion, some of the sources said.

New Mountain acquired DRB in October 2017 from Prairie Capital, a Chicago-based private investment firm.

As a vertical software provider for a niche segment in the automotive vertical, DRB under New Mountain has started growing its payments component – and that payments opportunity presents an attractive growth path going forward, one person said.

“New Mountain put a lot of efforts into it,” the source said.

DRB has also expanded through multiple add-on acquisitions, including its March purchase of an advanced car wash point-of-sale system, Washify Services, and last year’s acquisition of Suds Creative, an Idaho marketing agency for the car wash industry.

New Mountain, based in New York, is an alternative investment manager with private equity, credit, public equity and net lease strategies. The firm’s private equity funds acquire controlling stakes in defensive growth industries, generally investing between $100 million and $500 million per transaction in companies with enterprise values typically between $100 million and $1 billion.

In January, New Mountain collected more than $10 billion across two new funds, including a $9.6 billion flagship private-equity vehicle and a $640 million pool earmarked for non-controlling stakes in companies.

New Mountain declined to comment. DRB Systems and William Blair did not return PE Hub’s request for comment.