Gryphon and Portfolio Company News

Gryphon Investors Establishes New Platform for Industrial Temperature Management

San Francisco, CA -

Gryphon Investors (“Gryphon”), a leading middle-market private equity firm, announced today that it has established Thermal Technology Distribution Solutions (“TTDS”), a platform for the distribution of industrial temperature management and related products. Simultaneously, TTDS has completed the acquisition of Big Chief Inc. (“BC” or the “Company”), a leading independent distributor of electric process heating and temperature control products for the industrial market. This represents the fifth platform deal closed by Gryphon’s Heritage Fund, the firm’s small-cap fund strategy.

Former Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Howe has been named BC’s President, while former BC President Terry Howe will join TTDS’ board of managers. Both will retain a meaningful ownership stake in TTDS. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Keith Stimson, Deal Partner and Head of the Heritage Fund Team at Gryphon, said, “Our history of using proactive sector initiatives to identify industry leaders in promising businesses has led us to a variety of successful investments, and we are excited about the opportunities we see for BC as a standout in a very fragmented market. We also expect to leverage insights gained from Gryphon’s experience in value-added distribution and manufacturing businesses, particularly through our portfolio companies Techmer PM, Pacur, Heritage Distribution Holdings, Vessco, and Vivify Specialty Ingredients.”

Tim Bradley, Managing Director in Gryphon’s Heritage Fund, added, “The thermal technology industry is rich with opportunities for the right platform, and we believe TTDS will be a compelling home for many like-minded companies in the sector. Such strategic acquisitions will allow TTDS to serve its customers even better by deepening its capabilities in complementary products and expanding its share in attractive end markets.”

Founded in 1962 by James Howe Sr., and based in Cincinnati, Ohio, BC is a leading value-add supplier of industrial maintenance, repair and operations products related to electric heating and temperature control. The Company is well regarded for its technical expertise, customer service, and custom fabrication capabilities, and its customers are primarily manufacturers serving a diverse range of end markets, including consumer staples, water and infrastructure, automotive, specialty polymer & resin, building materials, and general industrial. The Company serves customers in all 50 states.

Gryphon Heritage Fund Operating Partner Craig Nikrant added, “Terry and Jeff have built a strong reputation among professionals as the premium provider in this industry, and we have already identified opportunities to further expand BC’s market-leading position. We believe Gryphon’s investment will allow the Company to accelerate organic growth, and, just as importantly, we will be actively pursuing add-on acquisitions that complement BC’s core strengths and enable it to scale rapidly.”

Mr. Terry Howe commented, “Now is the right time for us to enter a new phase of growth and we can’t imagine a better partner to provide us with financial and operational resources that will open additional avenues for development, while continuing to provide our customers with the quality and service they have come to expect.”

Gryphon was advised by legal counsel Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Prestwick Partners served as the exclusive financial advisor to the Company, and Katz Teller served as legal counsel to the Company.

About Big Chief

Big Chief is a leading supplier of industrial maintenance, repair and operations products for electric heating and temperature control. The Company’s customers are primarily manufacturers serving the consumer staples, water and infrastructure, automotive, specialty polymer & resin, building materials, and general industrials end markets. For more information, visit

About Gryphon Investors

Gryphon Investors ( is a leading private equity firm focused on profitably growing and competitively enhancing companies in partnership with management. As of December 31, 2022, the firm has over $8.9 billion of assets under management. Gryphon targets making equity investments of $50 million to $300 million in portfolio companies with enterprise values ranging from approximately $100 million to $600 million. Gryphon prioritizes investment opportunities where it can form strong partnerships with founders, owners and executives to build leading companies, utilizing Gryphon’s capital, specialized professional resources, and operational expertise.


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