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MiddleGround Capital Announces Acquisition of HLC

LEXINGTON, Ky., September 20, 2022-- MiddleGround Capital, an operationally focused private equity firm that makes control investments in North American middle market B2B industrial and specialty distribution companies, today announced it has acquired HLC, Inc. (“HLC”), a leading distributor of bicycle parts and accessories. HLC’s President, Pat McGinnis, will continue to oversee day-to-day operations and its distribution centers across North America.

Headquartered in Lévis, Quebec and Lexington, South Carolina, HLC honors the rich heritage of both the Hawley and Lambert families. The company, which was founded over 75 years ago, is considered a critical distribution partner to well established and start-up brands, providing unparalleled post-sales service. HLC distributes more than 170 leading brands in the cycling world including SRAM, Shimano, Garmin, ABUS, RockShox, Kuat, Tacx and Muc-Off. HLC also has a portfolio of best-in-class owned brands including Evo, WheelShop, PWR bikes and Eclypse.

“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,” said John Stewart, MiddleGround Founding Partner. “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.”

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.

“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,” said McGinnis. “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.

About MiddleGround Capital

MiddleGround Capital is a private equity firm based in Lexington, KY with over $2.0 billion of Assets Under Management. MiddleGround makes control equity investments in middle market B2B industrial and specialty distribution businesses. MiddleGround works with its portfolio companies to create value through a hands-on operational approach and partners with its management teams to support long-term growth strategies. For more information, please visit: www.middlegroundcapital.com.

About HLC

HLC, founded in Lévis 75 years ago, is a group of smart, innovative adventurers who supply the cycling industry with brands and solid business solutions to make life better for riders. Formerly known as Cycles Lambert, HLC distributes over 170 of the best brands out there, such as SRAM, Shimano and Garmin, as well as exclusive brands Evo, Megasoft and Wheel Shop. It also provides North American customers with an unparalleled post-sales service.

Contact:
MiddleGround Capital Media
Doug Allen/Zach Kouwe
Dukas Linden Public Relations
MiddleGround@dlpr.com
+1 (646) 722-6530