Sentinel Capital buys Driven Performance Brands: UPDATED

Sentinel Capital Partners said Friday that it has acquired Driven Performance Brands. Financial terms weren’t announced. Santa Rosa, California-based Driven Performance designs, makes and markets automotive aftermarket performance products for car and truck enthusiasts. UPDATE: Jonathan Carey of Jefferies advised Driven Performance Brands.


NEW YORK, September 11, 2015 – Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests in promising companies at the lower end of the middle market, today announced its acquisition of Driven Performance Brands (“DPB”), a leading designer, manufacturer, and marketer of specialty automotive aftermarket performance products for car and truck enthusiasts. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DPB offers a variety of uniquely designed and stylized products to a wide range of automotive enthusiasts who consider what they drive and how the vehicle performs an important lifestyle choice. DPB’s product line touches almost every part of the undercar, from exhaust to transmission, drivetrain, and electronic tuning products, and is marketed under five leading brands: Flowmaster, B&M Racing and Performance, Hurst Shifters, Hurst Driveline Conversions, and Dinan Engineering. DPB sells through online specialty retailers, warehouse distributors, auto dealers, traditional auto parts retailers, and OEMs, as well as directly to consumers. Founded in 1953, DPB is headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA.

“DPB is a strong, consumer-focused company with a portfolio of iconic brands and an unmatched distribution network,” said Jim Coady, a partner at Sentinel. “As a result of significant past investments in systems and infrastructure, DPB is an excellent platform for industry consolidation and organic growth. We’re very excited about this investment and the opportunity to work with DPB’s talented management team.”

“We are very pleased to partner with Sentinel as we set our course towards future success,” said DPB CEO Brian Appelgate. “DPB benefits from highly favorable market dynamics. We operate in a large and fragmented industry, yet we sell to a committed and loyal customer base of devoted automotive enthusiasts. The appeal of our products has an intangible quality and we are extremely well positioned to add similarly compelling brands to our portfolio.”

Sentinel has broad experience investing in specialty consumer businesses. Current and prior investments include: Hollander Sleep Products (specialty bedding); Spinrite (craft yarn); Strategic Partners (medical uniforms); and WellSpring Pharmaceutical (OTC products). Sentinel also has specific experience investing in the automotive aftermarket through its investments in Cottman Transmission (transmission repair centers) and Vintage Parts (distribution of slow‑moving automotive OEM parts).

About Sentinel Capital Partners

Sentinel Capital Partners specializes in buying and building businesses at the lower end of the middle market in the United States and Canada in partnership with management. Sentinel targets aerospace and defense, business services, consumer, distribution, food and restaurants, franchising, healthcare, and industrial businesses. Sentinel invests in management buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures, and going-private transactions of established businesses with EBITDA of up to $65 million. Sentinel also invests in special situations, including balance sheet restructurings and operational turnarounds. For more information about Sentinel, visit

About Driven Performance Brands

With more than 60 years of history, Driven Performance Brands designs, manufactures, and markets a full line of performance exhaust, drivetrain, and tuning products. A leader in the automotive aftermarket, DPB’s portfolio includes iconic brands such as Flowmaster, B&M Racing and Performance, Hurst Shifters, Hurst Driveline Conversions, and Dinan Engineering.