Chicago-based distributor Corporate Imaging Concepts (PPAI 221047) has acquired Atlanta, Georgia-based distributor eCompanyStore (PPAI 158356) in a deal that closed April 30. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

CEO Bob Herzog joined Corporate Imaging Concepts (CIC) a year ago with the goal to make it a top industry distributor. “This is a huge first step,” he told PPB Newslink, adding that he has known the eCompanyStore principals for years, starting when he was CEO of supplier Bulletline. “We saw a company that was almost identical to ours in terms of what we offered and what we did—and almost zero customer overlap. You don’t find deals like this every day, so we jumped on it.”

The acquisition expands CIC’s footprint into the Southeast, adding to its facilities in Seattle, Indianapolis and Milwaukee for total warehouse space of approximately 100,000 square feet. The acquisition is also expected to strengthen CIC’s presence in the insurance and healthcare industries.

“The combined entity will have incremental scale that will enable further investment in innovation and technology, both of which are transforming our industry and driving customer success,” says Herzog. “CIC and eCompanyStore have very similar cultures, systems and products with complementary geographies and customers. The combination of the two customer-centric cultures will create a platform for incremental growth and a real force in the industry.”

Because both companies have strong industry brands, they will retain their separate names and brands for now, but he expects to unveil a new, combined name for the brand entity, possibly as early as next year. Employees at both companies will also remain in place for now. “We value the history and legacy of each brand,” he adds, “and we’re not going to rush to change that.”

“eCompanyStore is thrilled to be joining a leader in the industry,” said Jeff Camp, CEO of
eCompanyStore, in a statement. “We’ve followed the growth of CIC over the years and are excited to see two of the top distributors in the space combine to serve our current—and new—customers in the coming months and years with outstanding service and innovation. Our respective cultures, acutely focused on the customer, are very similar and complimentary, a critical fact in our decision to join CIC. We could not be more thrilled to join the CIC team.”

Herzog adds that both companies provide exceptional technology offerings to customers, each with its own specialty. “[With the acquisition of eCompanyStore], I’m pretty sure we’ll have the best technology offering of any company in the industry,” says Herzog. “We’re scalable, flexible and tremendously nimble. It doesn’t matter to us what ERP platform or software our potential customer uses, we can integrate with it. We can put a web store up in a day.”