Hearst has agreed to acquire an 80 percent stake in leading connected vehicle solution provider Noregon Systems.
The announcement was made jointly Wednesday by Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Noregon Systems Founder and CEO Bill Hathaway. Hathaway will retain a 20 percent ownership stake in Noregon and continue to serve as its CEO.
Terms were not disclosed and the transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by end of Q4, the companies say.
“Bill Hathaway and his colleagues have built a great company that plays a vital and growing role in keeping the trucks on the road that power our economy,” says Swartz. “We look forward to partnering with Bill and his team and to welcoming them all to Hearst.”
Noregon was founded by Hathaway in 1993 as a custom development solutions provider for leading OE manufacturers in the trucking industry. In 2007, the company launched its flagship commercial product, JPRO — an all-makes commercial vehicle diagnostic application. Since then, the company has continued to innovate beyond JPRO, offering a variety of connected vehicle products and services to the medium and heavy-duty truck industry. Currently, Noregon serves more than 15,000 customers in the U.S. and Canada.
“We have the utmost confidence that Hearst will be a great owner and partner, bringing additional management and capital resources to Noregon,” says Hathaway. “Noregon will continue to be an innovator and should see significant growth through this partnership.”
“Bill and his company’s dedication to advancing commercial vehicle applications and helping businesses maximize vehicle uptime, improve decision-making and better train technicians was something we knew we wanted to be a part of,” says Richard Malloch, executive vice president for business media at Hearst. “We have been following Noregon for five years and have fostered a relationship with Bill and his son, and we look forward to continuing to work together to grow the company.”
“This is a unique opportunity for us, and we are excited to be able to offer manufacturers, fleets and transportation/logistics companies more solutions to increase their productivity,” adds Tom Cross, executive vice president, Hearst Transportation. “We believe Noregon is well positioned with its existing products to serve the needs of the most sophisticated truck operators and is well poised for emerging technologies such as advanced safety systems and battery-electric vehicles.”
In addition to JPRO, some of the solutions Noregon offers include NextStep Repair — an interactive maintenance guide offering step-by-step instructions to guide technicians through repair issues — and TripVision Uptime — a remote diagnostics platform empowering fleet personnel to operate more efficiently to reduce breakdowns and cut repair costs.
SVB Technology Investment Banking and UBS acted as exclusive financial advisors to Noregon.