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” or “the Company”) to Beijer Ref (OM: BEIJ B), a leading worldwide distributor of commercial refrigeration, industrial refrigeration, and air conditioning. Gryphon made its first investment in the Company 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.
Heritage Distribution Holdings 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). Heritage Distribution Holdings 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.”
Heritage Distribution Holdings 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.
About Heritage Distribution Holdings
Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Heritage Distribution Holdings is the fastest-growing HVAC/R distributor in the US. With a focus on being the market leader in each local geography, HDH is expanding its footprint by partnering with businesses that share a tenacious commitment to customers, employees, and suppliers. From after-hours emergency service, to stocking our customer’s warehouses, the HDH family is fully invested in being the critical link in the supply chain that enables people to live healthier and more comfortable lives.
About Gryphon Investors
Gryphon Investors (www.gryphoninvestors.com) 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.