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Gryphon Investors (Gryphon), a leading middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its portfolio company Heritage Distribution Holdings (HDH) to Beijer Ref (OM: BEIJ B), a leading worldwide distributor of commercial refrigeration, industrial refrigeration, and air conditioning. Gryphon made its first investment in HDH in July 2021 and completed four add-on acquisitions during its ownership to create a regional leader in its respective markets. Subject to customary closing conditions, the sale is expected to close in Q1 2023.
HDH is a leading multi-regional HVAC/R parts and equipment distribution platform serving the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. The company was formed from the merger of four strong regional brands, Wittichen Supply (founded in 1914), Benoist Brothers Supply (founded in 1928), Ed's Supply (founded in 1957), and Coastal Supply Company (founded in 1978). HDH is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with 64 branches in 10 states.
Craig Nikrant, Gryphon operating partner, said, "Our vision was to build a multi-regional distribution platform that would become a leading HVAC/R brand in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States. We are proud to have supported the Company's growth while maintaining a focus on top-quality customer service across the entire family of brands."
Tim Bradley, managing director at Gryphon added, "Heritage Distribution Holdings has a bright future ahead and we are confident that Beijer Ref is the ideal home for the Company. It was important to Gryphon to steward the legacy behind each of HDH's underlying brands, which we are confident will continue given Beijer Ref's emphasis on entrepreneurial culture and local decision making."
Keith Stimson, deal partner and head of Gryphon's Heritage Fund added, "We are proud of what CEO Alex Averitt and the HDH management team have accomplished over the past year and a half and are extremely pleased to have this successful outcome for the first exit from the Heritage Fund portfolio. Our investment in HDH is testament to Gryphon's Heritage Fund strategy, which leverages Gryphon's sector initiative strategy and focuses on partnering with market leaders with sustainable differentiation."
HDH CEO Alex Averitt added, "We have had a remarkable partnership with Gryphon. With the help of their operating and deal professionals, we were able to quickly and successfully scale the business and invest in our teams across the HDH platform, all while maintaining the unique cultures of the firms we acquired. We look forward to continuing that momentum under our new owners."
Baird acted as lead financial advisor to Gryphon, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as Gryphon's legal counsel.