MiddleGround Capital acquires North American bike parts and accessories distributor HLC

MiddleGround Capital has acquired HLC, a distributor of bicycle parts and accessories in North America.

Headquartered in Lévis, Quebec and Lexington, South Carolina, HLC distributes more than 170 brands including SRAM, Shimano, Garmin, ABUS, RockShox, Kuat, Tacx and Muc-Off. HLC also has a portfolio of owned brands including Evo, WheelShop, PWR bikes and Eclypse.

MiddleGround Capital is an operationally focused private equity firm that makes control investments in North American middle market B2B industrial and specialty distribution companies.

HLC’s president Pat McGinnis will continue to oversee day-to-day operations and its distribution centres across North America.

John Stewart, MiddleGround founding partner, said: “We’re thrilled to invest in and support the growth of a clear North American market leader within the bicycle parts and accessories distribution industry, which has proven to be a promising space given recent tailwinds. As the mobility industry develops, bicycles will play an important role in the transformation of the industry.

“HLC is uniquely positioned serving a broad and fragmented customer base with value added distribution capabilities. With the ongoing increase in bicycle ridership, which accelerated due to technological advances in the industry and the re-introduction of cycling to the masses during Covid, HLC is in a great position for long-term growth.

“We are excited to partner with Pat and the team to expand HLC’s geographic footprint and make investments in technology and infrastructure that allow HLC to both better serve existing customers, as well as attract new customers. For MiddleGround Capital, this is the beginning of our investment in a platform that we believe can grow exponentially with the right strategic partner.”

Read more: Tandem Group reports ‘challenging’ IBD and national retailer sales for bike division in latest results

With MiddleGround Capital’s additional resources and expertise, HLC will be further positioned to continue executing on revenue growth, benefiting from industry tailwinds and long-term partnerships with its vendor and dealer partners. This transaction will enhance HLC’s ongoing efforts to provide its customers with a full spectrum of product offerings across leading brands and new, emerging brands alongside its owned brands.

McGinnis said: “Today marks a very positive development for HLC and we are eager to begin working with the MiddleGround team as we amplify our growth efforts. MiddleGround brings a distinct style with distinguished operational expertise and we knew this would be a strong fit from the start.

“We are looking forward to working together to better serve the needs of bike stores and retailers through an expansion of geographic reach, product portfolio and end market exposure.”

Lazard acted as exclusive financial advisor to HLC in its sale to MiddleGround Capital.

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