Gryphon Investors, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, announced today that it sold Miller Heiman, Inc., one of its portfolio companies, to Leeds Weld, a New York-based private equity firm. Miller Heiman is the leading provider of sales force effectiveness solutions to Fortune 1000 and global companies. Over the past twenty-five years, it has trained over 500,000 professionals, conducted over 10,000 client engagements, and published more than 1,000,000 books and other publications, including Strategic Selling® and Conceptual Selling®. Gryphon acquired Miller Heiman in October 1998 in partnership with Crosslink Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital and public equity investment firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. This disposition is Gryphon’s third successful portfolio company sale in the last seven weeks, joining MSD Ignition and Bright Now Dental.
Will Lynn, Gryphon Partner and head of its Operations Resources Group, said, “Miller Heiman has been a terrific investment for Gryphon despite the severe challenges faced by all providers of training services during the economic downturn earlier this decade. Following our recruitment of CEO Sam Reese in 2000, we worked closely in partnership with management on web-enablement of its business, expansion of its sales force and distribution channels, roll-out of new programs, and recruitment of additional senior executives.”
Sam Reese, CEO of Miller Heiman, added, “Over the last seven years, Gryphon has consistently been a great partner for Miller Heiman, supporting and investing in the company even during the sector downturn. Its Operations Resources Group has provided invaluable assistance to my senior management team, and through our efforts together, the company has been able to significantly extend and increase its leadership position within the sales force solutions sector.”
In addition, Nick Orum, Gryphon Partner and head of its Business Services Group, said, “We are delighted to have realized a return in excess of five times our original investment in Miller Heiman. During our ownership, Sam Reese and his team significantly outperformed their competitors and expanded Miller Heiman’s market share. Given the initiatives undertaken by them with Gryphon’s support, we believe Miller Heiman is positioned well for continued future success under Leeds’ ownership.”
Miller Heiman is the dominant, most-recognized brand name in sales force effectiveness solutions and is widely regarded as the leading training provider for professionals involved in complex sales processes. Through its industry-leading training and consulting programs, the company delivers proprietary content and tools that result in superior returns on clients’ sales training investments. Miller Heiman is headquartered in Reno, Nevada, with international headquarters in Milton Keynes, UK.
Robert W. Baird & Co. and Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised Miller Heiman in this transaction.
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 managed more than $1 billion of discretionary equity capital, Gryphon has an extensive track record of investing $25 to $75 million of its own capital in companies with sales ranging from $25 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.
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