Gryphon and Portfolio Company News

Gryphon Investors Aquires Sheplers, Inc.

San Francisco, CA -

Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a San Francisco private equity firm, has acquired Sheplers, Inc. (the “Company”), the world’s leading western wear multi-channel retailer. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Concurrent with the transaction, CEO Mike Anop will retire and will be succeeded by Mark Syrstad, formerly President and CEO of Crafts Retail Holdings Corp.

Mike Anop said, “Sheplers is pleased to be partnering with Gryphon as they bring significant capital resources and strategic vision to assist the Company as it enters a new growth phase in its life cycle.”

Fran Jabara, Chairman of Jabara Ventures Group, Inc., an exiting shareholder said, “Our exit brings to a close what has been a wonderful 20-year journey with a great company and excellent management team, far longer in terms of duration than our typical 3-7 year portfolio company holding period. We are very proud of our long, successful relationship with Sheplers.”

Kurt Kaull, Gryphon Partner, said, “Sheplers is extremely well-positioned in its industry and has a truly differentiated knowledge of the Western lifestyle and experience. Based on our experience in investing in consumer product and specialty retail companies, we believe Sheplers is a uniquely successful business in its category, and we are excited by the opportunity to work with the Sheplers team to grow the business organically, through new store openings and store acquisitions.”

Mark Syrstad added, “Sheplers is a great company with a tremendous legacy and brand. I am excited to join the Company and its management team, and look forward to partnering with Gryphon, who brings significant capital resources, know-how and vision that will assist us in achieving the Company’s next phase of growth.”

Gryphon acquired Sheplers from Jabara Ventures Group and Sheplers management. Wachovia Securities served as financial advisor to Sheplers shareholders, and Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisor to Gryphon Investors.

About Sheplers

Founded in 1899 and based in Wichita, Kansas, Sheplers is the world’s most recognized multi-channel retailer of western wear, offering (i) a full line of men’s, women’s and children’s western boots, jeans, apparel, décor gifts and accessories in 19 destination stores concentrated in the Midwest, Southwest and West, (ii) a four season catalog with national circulation, and (iii) a website (, which has served customers in over 180 countries during the past year.

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 for more information.

About Jabara Ventures Group

Jabara Ventures Group is a Wichita, Kansas-based private equity and investment firm providing equity and mezzanine capital to growth companies in a broad array of manufacturing, retail and service industry sectors. Jabara Ventures’ investment portfolio also consists of diverse holdings in the real estate development industry, including retail centers and hospitality properties. Founded in 1989, the company is led by Chairman Fran Jabara.


Kurt Kaull

Gryphon Investors