The co-founder and CEO of Consolidated Asset Recovery Systems, a rapidly expanding Raleigh company whose software is used by lenders, expects that being acquired by a private equity firm based in Texas will help the business continue its growth trajectory.
The 63-employee company, which last year was rated among the nation’s fastest-growing privately held companies by Inc. magazine, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum by Greenridge Investment Partners.
“They have experience growing businesses similar to ours in different industries,” said co-founder and CEO Steve Norwood.
Consolidated Asset will continue to operate in Raleigh led by its current senior management team, including Norwood and co-founder Terry Groves, vice president of sales and marketing. The management team retains ownership of about 20 percent of the business.
No layoffs are planned.
“We’re keeping everyone,” said Norwood, who added that the company anticipates adding seven to 10 new hires in 2016.
“Private equity often times gets a bad name because it’s synonymous with job cuts, but (we have) the opposite here,” said Jack Cardwell, partner and co-founder at Greenridge. “We’re excited to grow the company for the foreseeable future.”
“We spent a bunch of time talking to customers,” Cardwell added. “A customer-first focus has really been the company’s mantra.”
Founded in 2005, Consolidated Asset’s Internet-based software is used by lenders to manage repossessions of property from delinquent borrowers and the subsequent sale of the property. The company touts that its software has been used to repossess more than $1 billion in assets.
Revenue, said Norwood, totaled $31.9 million in 2015, up from $22.8 million in 2014.
Consolidated Asset posted a 219 percent jump in revenue during the three-year span that ended in 2014, ranking it No. 1,819 in the latest Inc. 5000 list.
“The market’s really good for us,” Norwood said. “The lending industry is exploding, especially in subprime lending, and that creates a lot of demand for our services.”
Norwood said the company sought a “strategic” buyer because two groups of angel investors that owned about a 30 percent stake in the business – Wilmington Investor Network of Wilmington and Florida-based Springboard Capital – wanted to cash out.
Those investors, he said, “got a pretty good return on their investment.”