MiddleGround Capital’s European Office Makes First Platform Acquisition with Close of Xtrac
LEXINGTON, Ky. and AMSTERDAM, July 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — MiddleGround Capital, an operationally focused private equity firm that makes control investments in middle market B2B industrial and specialty distribution companies globally, today announced that its European office has completed its first platform acquisition with the purchase of Xtrac (“the Company”), the leading manufacturer and supplier of high performance transmissions for top-level professional motorsport and specialist high performance automotive applications.
Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Thatcham, United Kingdom (UK), Xtrac is the leading global supplier of professional motorsport and specialized high performance automotive transmission systems across internal combustion engine, hybrid, and electric vehicles, providing in-house manufacturing as well as design and engineering services. Xtrac’s focus on performance and reliability has made them the benchmark in the industry, testified by their longstanding supply to a large number of the world’s top professional race teams and organizations, including teams in Formula One, Formula E, Sportscar and touring car racing globally, world rallying and off-road racing, IndyCar and NASCAR. The Company has also developed relationships with the world’s top hypercar OEMs, providing transmission and mechatronic systems to a number of the market’s premier vehicles. In addition to its headquarters in the UK, Xtrac also has facilities in Indianapolis, IN, and Mooresville, NC, through which the Company provides world leading technical and after-sales support to key customers in the United States.
“Xtrac represents an opportunity to partner with the leading provider of high-performance transmission systems for the specialized motorsport and automotive markets,” said John Stewart, MiddleGround Founding Partner. “We believe that under Adrian’s leadership, Xtrac is well-positioned for long-term growth and leading the future transition of the motorsport and high-performance automotive industry to hybrid and EV drivetrains by delivering innovative products in a sustainable manner.”
“Since our establishment, our unwavering commitment to R&D, manufacturing technology, and developing the skills of our people with our award-winning apprentice program, has resulted in the development of innovative, industry-leading products that are of critical importance to our customers,” said Adrian Moore, CEO at Xtrac. “The whole team at Xtrac in the UK and the USA pride ourselves in our ability to assure our customers that performance and endurance milestones achieved during testing are repeated on the track and during a product’s life cycle by supplying products of the highest quality. By partnering with MiddleGround, we look forward to building on our success and benefitting from their expertise and guidance through this next stage of expansion.”
“We are thrilled to announce this first acquisition for our recently established European office in Amsterdam,” said Alex Van Der Have, Managing Director, Investments at MiddleGround. “Xtrac is a great company and, in light of positive market tailwinds, we see a lot of potential for growth driven in particular by burgeoning consumer demand for high-performance transmissions for hypercars and for motorsport. With this investment to support growth, customers will certainly benefit from Xtrac’s enhanced capacity and capability.”
MiddleGround launched its Amsterdam office as a base for its European strategy in January 2023. That team is led by three Managing Directors, Alex Van Der Have, who is Head of the Investment Team; Anthony Denaix, Head of Business Development; and Robert Jonkers, Head of Operations.
Lincoln International provided corporate and capital advisory services to MiddleGround for the acquisition. Clifford Chance LLP served as legal advisor to MiddleGround. Alvarez & Marsal served as financial and tax advisors to MiddleGround.
Based in Berkshire in the UK and Indiana and North Carolina in the US, Xtrac is a prominent ambassador for the UK’s world-renowned motorsport industry.
Established in 1984, the company employs around 400 highly qualified staff, including those trained through Xtrac’s award-winning apprentice and undergraduate schemes to work on global customer programmes, supplying world-class transmission and driveline products, including gearboxes, differentials, and gearchange systems. It exports around 70 per cent of its manufacturing output to Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, and the US.
Xtrac works mainly with the high-performance automotive sector alongside its traditional heartland of the motorsport industry. Customers of its high-performance automotive and motorsport business sectors rely on its specialist expertise, augmented by the company’s substantial investment in research and innovation supported by advanced design, engineering and manufacturing resources.
For further information, please visit www.xtrac.com.