Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a San Francisco-based private equity firm, announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its portfolio company, TrustHouse Services Group (“TrustHouse”), to Elior SCA (“Elior”), a prominent provider of contract and concessions catering headquartered in Paris, France. Elior is partnering with its two main shareholders and TrustHouse’s management for the acquisition. TrustHouse is the largest pure-play contract food service (“CFS”) provider in the U.S. focused on the healthcare, education and corrections sectors. The transaction is expected to close early in the second quarter. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
In partnership with Michael J. Bailey, the former CEO of Compass Group, Gryphon formed TrustHouse in March of 2008, as a result of an initiative targeting the fragmented CFS sector in the attractive and under-penetrated healthcare, education and corrections end-markets. During Gryphon’s ownership, Mr. Bailey and management led organic growth initiatives and integrated three acquisitions, resulting in operations expanding from 22 to 45 states and in EBITDA more than quadrupling. “We congratulate Mike and the TrustHouse team on achieving the objective of building a truly differentiated sector leader, and on signing a definitive agreement to sell the Company to Elior. Thanks to their considerable efforts, there was significant value creation for all stakeholders, including our limited partners,” said Nick Orum, Gryphon’s President.
Mr. Bailey, the CEO of TrustHouse, said, “Gryphon has been a valuable partner and I appreciate their support of the original vision, including our organic growth plans and acquisition strategy. Despite the challenging economic conditions early on, we were successful in executing our investment thesis of building a leading CFS platform. We are enthusiastic about partnering with Elior and believe we are well positioned for our next phase of growth.” Keith Stimson, a Gryphon Partner and the head of Gryphon’s Consumer Products and Services Group, noted, “The agreement to sell TrustHouse represents the culmination of a successful five-year partnership with Mike Bailey and the TrustHouse team and further bolsters Gryphon’s strong track record in the food and facility services sectors. We have enjoyed working with TrustHouse, and thank Mike for his leadership in successfully building a national platform in the growing market for contract food service in the healthcare, education and corrections sectors. We believe TrustHouse will continue to thrive as a market leader in partnership with Elior.”
In connection with the transaction, Jefferies LLC acted as lead financial advisor and McColl Partners, LLC acted as a financial advisor to TrustHouse and Gryphon. Kirkland and Ellis and Parker Poe provided legal counsel to Gryphon and TrustHouse. The closing of the transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals.
About TrustHouse Services Group
TrustHouse Services Group (www.trusthouseservices.com) is a leading food service provider focused on the healthcare, education and corrections sectors. TrustHouse manages over 675 client accounts across 45 states. Divisions of TrustHouse include Aladdin Food Management based in Wheeling, WV; AmeriServe Food Management headquartered in Columbia, MO; Fitz Vogt & Associates located in Walpole, NH; A’viands, LLC in Minneapolis, MN; Lindley Food Services located in New Haven, CT; and Valley Services, Inc. located in Jackson, MS. TrustHouse is headquartered in Charlotte, NC and was founded in 2008 by Mike Bailey and Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based premier middle-market private equity firm.
About Gryphon Investors
Based in San Francisco, Gryphon Investors focuses on leveraged acquisitions of, and growth investments in, middle-market companies in partnership with experienced management. Having committed more than $1 billion of discretionary equity capital, Gryphon has an extensive track record of investing $35 to $100 million of its own capital in companies with sales ranging from $50 to $250 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form proactive partnerships with owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, professional resources and significant financial and operational expertise. Visit www.gryphoninvestors.com for more information.
- For TrustHouse:
- Michael J. Bailey
- (704) 424-1071
- For Gryphon:
- Caroline Luz
- Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc.
- (203) 656-2829