Home Private Equity TMG Performance Products of Berea sold to Kentucky private equity firm

TMG Performance Products of Berea sold to Kentucky private equity firm


MiddleGround Capital, a private equity firm from Lexington, Kentucky, has made another acquisition in Northeast Ohio.

The firm announced in a news release that it has acquired TMG Performance Products of Berea through its fast-growing platform Race Winning Brands, a company based in Mentor that MiddleGround bought in late 2021.

Financial terms of the TMG purchase were not disclosed. TMG makes branded performance exhaust and air intakes for aftermarket automotive and marine enthusiasts. It’s made up of three brands: CORSA Performance, Volant Performance and CORSA Marine.

A MiddleGround spokeswoman on Friday, July 1, wasn’t immediately able to provide information on annual revenue and the number of employees at TMG or at Race Winning Brands. When MiddleGround bought Race Winning Brands last year, an official wrote in an email to Crain’s that the Mentor company had about 750 employees and annual revenues of $180 million.

“Adding CORSA and Volant to our family is a natural fit for RWB,” said Bob Bruegging, CEO of Race Winning Brands, in a statement. “It continues our strategic move into strong brands with strong manufacturing models in place. It is also part of our move outside the engine to the critical ‘air-in, air-out’ portions of performance. Working with the strong management team already in place, our plans are to provide support for continued growth — both internally and through additional acquisitions.”

John Steward, founding partner of MiddleGround, added, “TMG offers an opportunity for (Race Winning Brands) to acquire another premium brand in the automotive aftermarket with strong recognition amongst enthusiasts. The exhaust is typically one of the first modifications that an enthusiast makes to a vehicle, so this acquisition gives RWB the opportunity to win over consumers early in their enthusiast journeys.”

The seller was The Mifsud Group, the owner and operator of specialty manufacturing companies, which bought TMG in 2009.

Craig Kohrs, co-president (with Ryan Mifsud) of Mifsud Group and former CEO of TMG, said in a phone interview that the company “was a troubled business” 13 years ago. Over time, he said, all company stakeholders “built a team that built something exceptional.”

He declined to disclose Mifsud Group’s return on its investment, saying only, “We were very pleased with the outcome.”

A key to that, Kohrs said, is that TMG becomes part of a growing, Northeast Ohio-based company in Race Winning Brands.

“They’re going to make lots of investment in the business,” he said.

MiddleGround in the release said the TMG transaction is the fourth add-on acquisition by Race Winning Brands since the firm completed the acquisition of the platform in December.

In April, Race Winning Brands bought PAC Racing from Peterson American Corp., adding performance springs to its portfolio, the release stated. Later that month, Race Winning Brands bought TPT Solutions, providing transmission-focused automotive aftermarket performance products for light truck, automotive and SUV/CUV under the TransGo, RevMax and Transmission Specialties brands.

Race Winning Brands in May purchased Haltech, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of automotive aftermarket engine management electronics, focused on performance racing and enthusiast end users.

MiddleGround says it has more than $2.4 billion of assets under management. It makes control equity investments in middle market, business-to-business industrial and specialty distribution companies.

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