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Sentinel Capital Partners Acquires Holley Performance Products

Sentinel will combine Holley with the Driven Performance Brands platform.

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Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in promising companies in the lower midmarket, has announced its acquisition of Holley Performance Products, a market leader in branded performance products for automotive enthusiasts. Sentinel acquired Holley from Lincolnshire Management Inc. and will combine Holley with Driven Performance Brands, a platform acquired by Sentinel in 2015. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Holley markets and manufactures a wide range of branded high-performance products including fuel injection systems, engine tuning and ignition solutions, carburetors and exhaust systems. Holley’s portfolio includes leading brands such as Holley, Sniper EFI, MSD, Accel, Diablosport, Superchips, Edge and Hooker Blackheart, each with its own identity that allows the company to target specific consumers across the late-model, classic, truck and jeep, and racing vehicle sub-segments. Utilizing direct feedback from consumers to guide the focus of its engineering division, Holley has had a consistent commitment to leading-edge R&D and to introducing innovative new products, according to Sentienl. Headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Holley has been in operation for 115 years.

Driven Performance develops, manufactures, and distributes high-performance automotive aftermarket products for a wide range of vehicles including late-model European imports, classic muscle cars and trucks. Driven’s products include mufflers, exhaust kits, shifters, transmission kits, torque converters, and electronic tuning solutions. The company goes to market under five highly regarded and well-established brands: Flowmaster, B&M, Hurst, APR and Dinan. Like Holley, Driven has a deep commitment to product development and innovation. The company is headquartered in Santa Rosa, California, and its brands date back more than 65 years.

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“Holley is a strong, consumer-focused company with a portfolio of powerful brands and a meaningful edge in engineering and technology,” said Jim Coady, a partner at Sentinel. “Holley operates in the large, highly-fragmented and steadily growing automotive enthusiast market. Led by a deeply involved and experienced management team, Holley has a proven ability to integrate add-on businesses successfully and leads the industry when it comes to product innovation. We believe that Holley and Driven are extremely complementary in terms of culture, brands, and capabilities. Combining Holley and Driven creates the largest and most diversified business in the industry.”

“Holley provides a large and vibrant community of passionate consumers with high-performance products that are essential to their lifestyle,” said Tom Tomlinson, president and CEO of Holley. Uniting Holley and Driven expands our product offering and market-leading portfolio, deepens our connection to our enthusiast base, and, importantly, brings together two highly talented management teams.”

“As one business, Holley and Driven will be a powerhouse at the center of a fragmented industry with highly favorable market dynamics,” said Driven CEO Brian Appelgate. “We share with Holley many similarities in how we interact with and earn the loyalty of our passionate customers. In addition, our brand portfolios are highly complementary and the combined business will be highly adept at identifying, acquiring, and investing in new brands.”

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