Gryphon and Portfolio Company News

Kano Laboratories Adds Industrial MRO Distribution and Retail Industry Veteran Mark Klein as President

Nashville, TN -

Kano Laboratories (“Kano” or the “Company”), a market leading producer of branded penetrating oils and lubricants, including the iconic brand Kroil, today announced a planned transition in the Company’s leadership. Mark Klein, a 20-year veteran in the industrial MRO distribution and retail space, will take over as President in this planned leadership transition, reporting directly to the Kano Board of Directors. Mr. Klein succeeds Sevan Demirdogen, who will remain with the Company as Executive Chairman of the Board. Mr. Demirdogen assumed leadership of Kano after Gryphon Investors, a middle market private equity firm, purchased the Company in 2020.

Mr. Klein is an accomplished executive with a track record of driving growth and product innovation, with a diverse background in manufactured goods spanning industrial, professional and consumer end users, and deep experience and knowledge of the MRO distribution and retail channels. Prior to joining Kano, he served as Co-President of Klein Tools, a privately-owned company that manufacturers premium hand tools for professionals and consumers around the world. With a brand reputation for quality and functionality, Klein Tools is known for its popularity in the electrical and communications trades. Mr. Klein held a variety of functional positions at Klein, where he designed and led strategies that resulted in strong growth. 

Craig Nikrant, Gryphon Operating Partner said, “Mark brings a wealth of experience and proven results which will help launch Kano into its next phase of growth. His laser focus on customers and proven results through MRO distribution, retail and innovation gives us great confidence in his leadership and vision for the Company, and I’m looking forward to partnering with him.”

Mr. Klein said, “I couldn’t be more excited to join the Kano team and be part of an organization leading the Kroil brand, one of the most well-known and efficacious lubricating penetrants in the industry. I look forward to working with the team and the Board to maximize our presence in MRO distribution and retail as we look to accelerate our growth.”

Under Mr. Demirdogen’s leadership, Kano’s premier brand of penetrating lubricants, Kroil, has been made available through an MRO distribution network of over 500 distributors, as well as retail and online stores. 

Mr. Nikrant added, “Sevan supported our due diligence underwriting and originally stepped in at close as interim CEO, and has done an excellent job of driving strong financial performance and double digit growth at Kano during his tenure. We are thrilled that he will remain active in the business as Executive Chairman.”

Mr. Demirdogen said, “I had the privilege to lead a great team of people who accomplished many things  over the past two years. I’m very confident that Mark is the right leader to guide Kano in our next phase of growth, and I am eager to work with and support him as I transition to the Board, according to our  planned succession.”

About Kano Laboratories

Founded in 1939 and based in Nashville, Tennessee, Kano is a leading producer of iconic, branded penetrating oils and lubricants in the industrial maintenance, repair, and operations (“MRO”) and consumer markets. Kano has built a passionately loyal customer base around its Kroil and AeroKroil branded products, which are used by professionals to loosen rusted, corroded, or frozen mechanical parts. For more information, visit

About Gryphon Investors

Gryphon Investors ( is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. As of December 31, 2021, the firm has over $9 billion of assets under management. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.


Jennifer Hurson