The founder of Sterling Performance Engines in Milford, Mich., Mike D’Anniballe has returned as a part-owner of the company, which he sold to three investors from the Middle East a little more than three-and-a-half years ago. D’Anniballe now owns the engine-building side of the company, while the investment group is retaining its automotive component durability-testing business. To that end, the group has purchased one of the three buildings at Sterling headquarters.
Additional details of the deal were not disclosed.
Though he was no longer an owner following the sale, D’Anniballe never strayed far from the business he started in 1990.
“I was employed by the owners and oversaw the engine shop and ‘the lab,’ meaning the component durability testing side of Sterling,” he explained. “They are keeping the lab—they own that free and clear. I still owned the property, which has three buildings, and I sold them one of the buildings.”
Now that he is a back in an ownership role, D’Anniballe will focus on bolstering the company’s engine-development program.
“I still have all my key personnel—they all stayed from day one—but I do need to hire some more people and get more work into the place,” he said. “We will cater to a broader marine engine market in addition to our Super Cat engine program, from mild- to ultra-high-performance.”
The 2022 national and world champion in offshore racing’s Super Cat class, M CON is among the teams running engines from Sterling Performance. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
“It’s wonderful that the original cowboy who builds world champion offshore racing engines owns the stable again,” said Tyler Miller, the owner and throttleman of the Super Cat-class M CON team, which claimed national and world championships in 2022. “Mike has always been a first-class gentleman, as well as a pleasure to work with, and M CON Racing is looking forward to continued support from Sterling Performance and ‘the legend’ Michael D’Anniballe.”
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