Kinderhook Builds Race Winning Brands

Kinderhook Builds Race Winning Brands

Race Winning Brands, a portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, has acquired Dart Machinery, a maker of high-performance engine blocks, cylinder heads and intake manifolds.

Dart Machinery was founded in 1981 by Richard Maskin and is headquartered in the Detroit suburb of Troy, MI ( Mr. Maskin was inducted into the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2015 and has earned multiple National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock world championships as an engine builder. Post-closing he will be active with Race Winning Brands as a shareholder and Chairman of Research & Development.

The buy of Dart is the third add-on acquisition for Race Winning Brands. The first add-on was the April 2017 buy of sister companies Diamond Pistons and Trend Performance, manufacturers of high-performance engine components; and the second add-on was the buy of Rekluse, a maker of high-performance clutches for the powersports market, in April 2018.

Race Winning Brands (RWB) is a manufacturer of performance and racing pistons as well as connecting rods, crankshafts, electronics, and other engine related components. The company sells its products to the automotive and powersports performance markets under several brands including JE Pistons, Wiseco Performance Products, K1 Technologies, Diamond Pistons, Trend Performance, Rekluse Motor Sports and ProX Racing Parts. Customers include professional and sportsman racers, engine builders, enthusiasts, street performance racers, OEM crate engine builders, and automotive and powersports wholesale distributors. The company, led by CEO Brian Reese, is headquartered east of Cleveland in Mentor, OH (

“Dart is an iconic brand and a global powerhouse in high-performance blocks, cylinder heads and intake manifolds,” said Mr. Reese. “The Dart team has built a new manufacturing center of excellence in Warren, Michigan to power the brand with leading-edge products. We plan to leverage Richard Maskin’s championship engine building expertise across RWB’s portfolio of race winning products. This strategic acquisition helps drive our mission of leading racers to victory and enthusiasts to enjoyment, while extending RWB adjacently into engine blocks, cylinder heads, and intake manifolds.”

“We are excited about Race Winning Brands adding another premium brand name to its stable of branded products and that Dart has decided to partner with the RWB and Kinderhook family. We look forward to leveraging the RWB platform to further accelerate Dart’s growth,” said Tom Tuttle, Managing Director of Kinderhook Industries.

Race Winning Brands was formed in February 2017 by Kinderhook to acquire Performance Motorsports International from publicly-traded Dover Corporation for total consideration of $150 million. As part of that transaction, Dover agreed to have a minority equity ownership interest in RWB.

Kinderhook makes control investments in companies with transaction values of $25 million to $150 million in which the firm can achieve financial, operational and growth improvements. The firm makes investments in non-core divisions of public companies, management buyouts of entrepreneurial-owned businesses, troubled situations, and existing small capitalization companies lacking institutional support. Sectors of interest include healthcare services, environmental/business services, and automotive/light manufacturing. Kinderhook was founded in 2003 and is based in New York (

© 2018 Private Equity Professional | August 30, 2018

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