MiddleGround Capital, an operationally focused private equity firm that makes control investments in middle market B2B industrial and specialist distribution companies globally, today announced that its European office had completed its first platform acquisition with the purchase of Xtrac (“the Company”), the leading manufacturer and supplier of transmissions for top-level professional motorsport and specialist high-performance automotive applications.
Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Thatcham in the UK, Xtrac is the leading global supplier of professional motorsport and specialised 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 many of the world’s top professional race teams, 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 several 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 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 specialised motorsport and automotive markets,” said John Stewart, MiddleGround founding partner. “We believe that under Adrian Moore’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 Moore, CEO at Xtrac. “The whole team at Xtrac in the UK and the USA take pride 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 for investments at MiddleGround. “Xtrac is a great company, and, in light of positive market tailwinds, we see much potential for growth driven, in particular, by burgeoning consumer demand for high-performance transmissions for hypercars and 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. Three managing directors lead that team, Alex Van Der Have, head of investment; 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.