North Castle buys controlling interest in Performance Inc.

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Multichannel bicycle merchant Performance Inc. has sold a controlling interest in the company to private equity firm North Castle Partners.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Peformance is the largest independent bicycle dealer in the US with 74 retail stores, two catalogs and two e-commerce Web sites. It is positioned as offering the broadest selection of branded bicycles, parts, accessories and technical apparel and "everyday value" pricing.

The deal complements North Castle's strategy of focusing on investments in consumer-driven product and service businesses that benefit from "healthy living and aging" trends. Greenwich, CT-based North Castle currently also holds investments in Octane Fitness Holdings Inc., a designer and distributor of low-impact cardio fitness equipment; Skincare brand Glominerals; and Red Door Spas.

Representatives of North Castle and Performance could not immediately be reached for comment.

"Performance is similar to other successful North Castle investments in that it operates in a highly fragmented industry that is benefiting from burgeoning consumer interest in health and fitness," said Chip Baird, founder and chairman of North Castle. Performance, Chapel Hill, NC, stands to benefit from the involvement of North Castle's operating advisors and the private equity firm's experience building other retail businesses, accelerating their growth and increasing the average annual spend per household.

Garry Snook, Performance's CEO and co-founder maintains a significant portion of his investment in the company, and he and other members of senior management will continue in their current positions.

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