MiddleGround Capital, the investment specialist and buyer of middle market B2B industrial and specialty distribution companies, purchased North American bike parts and accessories distributor HLC. The terms were not disclosed.
Founded on a collaboration between the Hawley and Lambert families, HLC is one of North America’s larger distribution houses, with over 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.
Founded over 75 years ago, HLC is headquartered in Lévis, Quebec and Lexington, SC.
“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 to serve 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.”
This transaction will help HLC provide its customers with a full spectrum of products across leading and 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.”
Lazard acted as the exclusive financial advisor to HLC in its sale to MiddleGround Capital.