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Sale of Parent Company Signals New Era for School Bus Fleet

Private equity firm Gemspring Capital has acquired all of the assets of California-based Bobit Business Media, Inc., including School Bus Fleet magazine.

The deal was announced on Nov. 18 for an undisclosed amount. Gemspring Capital manages $355 million in equity capital and is based in Westport, Connecticut. The company specializes in lower middle-market companies.

Ed Bobit founded Bobit Business Media in 1961. SBF debuted four years later to succeed the former School Bus Transportation publication that Bobit had acquired from Hitchcock Publishing.

Bobit served as the family-owned and operated company’s chairman and CEO. He moved the family-owned operation from Chicago to Southern California in 1977, the same year he became the first executive director of the fledgling National Association for Pupil Transportation.

Bobit was later inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame. He died in 2014.

Richard Rivera, former chief operating officer, chief financial officer and chief brand officer of EnsembleIQ in New York City, is replacing Ed Bobit’s son, Ty, as CEO of Bobit Business Media.

Rivera was previously the CEO of Percurio, Inc. and president and CEO of Innovation Enterprises; both are located in New York City.

In a statement, Ty Bobit lauded Rivera and Gemspring for their “deep knowledge of the B2B media landscape, as well as focus on digital media products.”

“Further, it was evident both Gemspring and Richard truly valued our content, industry leadership and market positioning,” Bobit added. “I am confident that with their support, we will continue our strong history of growth and providing tremendous value to our customers.”

Sherb Brown continues with Bobit as its newly appointed president and chief revenue officer, while Cyndy Drummey remains as chief operating officer.

Including SBF, Bobit operates 25 publications that cover the vehicle fleet, auto dealer, auto aftermarket, law enforcement and beauty industries. Bobit headquarters are located in Torrance, California, and it also has offices in Chicago, Uniontown, Ohio and Marlton, New Jersey.

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