MiddleGround Capital Acquires Race Winning Brands, Its Third Fund II Platform in Two Weeks

LEXINGTON, Ky.-MiddleGround Capital, an operationally-focused private equity firm that makes control investments in North American middle market B2B industrial and specialty distribution companies, is excited to announce it has acquired Race Winning Brands (“RWB”).

MiddleGround has closed eight deals in the last sixty days with combined enterprise values of approximately $1.4 Billion. Earlier this year MiddleGround Capital raised over a billion dollars for their second flagship fund and an overflow vehicle dedicated to the firm’s mobility strategy. MiddleGround has written equity checks for platform investments from $19 million to $193 million. MiddleGround’s strategy includes co-investment for Limited Partner’s in each transaction which allows MiddleGround to keep their core funds sized appropriately for the middle market while leveraging their LP’s co-investment capabilities to complete larger deals. MiddleGround makes investments up to $250 million in individual platforms.

Race Winning Brands is a leading designer, manufacturer, and distributor of branded automotive aftermarket and powersports aftermarket products for enthusiast and racing consumers. RWB consists of a 12-brand portfolio of high-performance aftermarket product categories, with applications across a diverse group of automotive and powersports vehicle segments. According to industry research, the enthusiast powersport segment has seen annualized growth of 10-15 percent over the last 18 months with forecasted growth of six to eight percent over the next 12 months.

MiddleGround Founding Partner John Stewart remarked, “We are very excited to be partnering with Bob Bruegging, Josh Vogel, and the rest of the Race Winning Brands team as we look to usher the company into its next stage of growth. RWB has a strong culture of continuous improvement with a focus on new product development that allows the company to offer a wide breadth of innovative, customized, performance-enhancing products for its enthusiasts and customer base. We look forward to further enhancing RWB’s leading position in the market by leveraging the company’s engineering expertise, coupled with our Operation Team’s automotive aftermarket experience and network, to expand into new product and vehicle applications – both organically and through complementary acquisitions to the platform.”

Stewart and fellow founding partner Scot Duncan both share experience with enthusiast based products in the automotive aftermarket having worked with Holley Performance Products in 2012.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with MiddleGround,” said Bob Bruegging, Race Winning Brands CEO. “We believe their operationally-focused approach paired with their culture of continuous improvement and longstanding experience in the automotive and powersports aftermarkets will align perfectly with RWB’s objectives and growth strategy – with the ultimate goal of providing innovative products to best serve our automotive and powersports enthusiast customers,” he added.

MiddleGround Founding Partner John Stewart remarked, “We are very excited to be partnering with Bob Bruegging, Josh Vogel, and the rest of the Race Winning Brands team as we look to usher the company into its next stage of growth. RWB has a strong culture of continuous improvement with a focus on new product development that allows the company to offer a wide breadth of innovative, customized, performance-enhancing products for its enthusiasts and customer base. We look forward to further enhancing RWB’s leading position in the market by leveraging the company’s engineering expertise, coupled with our Operation Team’s automotive aftermarket experience and network, to expand into new product and vehicle applications – both organically and through complementary acquisitions to the platform.”

Stewart and fellow founding partner Scot Duncan both share experience with enthusiast based products in the automotive aftermarket having worked with Holley Performance Products in 2012.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with MiddleGround,” said Bob Bruegging, Race Winning Brands CEO. “We believe their operationally-focused approach paired with their culture of continuous improvement and longstanding experience in the automotive and powersports aftermarkets will align perfectly with RWB’s objectives and growth strategy – with the ultimate goal of providing innovative products to best serve our automotive and powersports enthusiast customers,” he added.

Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel to Race Winning Brands and Baker & McKenzie provided legal counsel to MiddleGround Capital in the transaction.

Original Post can be found on Business Wire.

Media Contacts:

Andrea Hurst
212-883-3666
andrea.hurst@moelisam.com

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